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Monday, 30 March 2015


Minha Familia!
Wow, this week definitely flew by 10X faster than last week and it was so good! Vernal is just character. I love it! Here is what happened this week:
Tuesday we met one our recent converts at the family history center to obviously do some family history (Mom I should have paid more attention to all those family history presentations before I left....definitely regretting that), but I was playing around on there and thinking I was getting the hang of it, but dang our family is on top of everything! I would find a name and then of course it was reserved by either Aunt Jennifer or Aunt Jocelyn, so if you have any tips for how to do family history work, I would really appreciate it....
Wednesday was definitely one of the most exciting days for me. We had a ward member who told us about a young lady who had just gotten back from her mission to the Salt Lake temple square mission, but she was originally from Brazil and actually married an elder who served in Brazil....So long story short: They both speak Portuguese and so we got in touch with them and went over to their house this week and she helped me with my Portuguese by just kinda talking to me etc. It was definitely a struggle trying to understand her because she has such a thick Brazillian accent, but it was really good for me, and we are going to try and go there at least a couple times a week for language study, so I am stoked about that! 
Later Wednesday afternoon we had a zone meeting and we were able to watch BECAUSE HE LIVES!!!! I just have to take a second and endorse this video because it is amazing and we have been showing it to EVERYONE! It is the new easter video the church has put out, so if you haven't seen it....go watch it right now. I kid you not when I say that the spirit literally jumps out of the screen.
I am especially grateful for my Savior this Easter Week. I have a strong testimony of his atonement even though it is so comprehensible. I know that Jesus Christ suffered for ALL of our sins, pains, sorrows. He suffered for them back in Gethsemane, but what is so amazing is that he lives today to comfort us. He lives to help us. Because he truly is the only one who knows. He is the only one who understands. And I am so grateful for that knowledge because it gives me hope, and it gives me a purpose to live. I can live with hope because I know that he lives. Incredible.
We saw a couple of small miracles this week. Small and simple miracles are sometimes the best kind of miracles. We went to some ward activities to try to get more acquainted with the ward members and at one of them we were trying to determine who we should sit by. We wondered for a while, and then decided to sit by a couple. We didn't know who they were, but as it turns out.....the wife is a less active member, and the husband isn't a member! There is no doubt that the Lord was helping us in that situation. We sat and talked to the husband quite a while and by the end he was offering to feed us and have us come over. SO AWESOME! Also, later that night we were out contacting and we had plans to visit a family. We showed up at their house and of course no one was home. We just sat in their driveway for a while because we weren't quite sure what we should do next- one might say we had a stupor of thought. Well, after a couple minutes of waiting, they showed up, invited us in, and we were able to share a message with them!
Thursday we had a typical Vernal moment. We had just finished up a lesson and drove down the street a ways and parked in front of a house to try and determine our next plan of action, and as we were sitting there we saw the family members of the house start looking at us. We weren't even parked there for that long-maybe 5 min. tops, but in that time the dad decided to come out in his nasty greasy tank top and let it be known to us that we were parked in front of his parents house...haha makes me wonder what was going down in that house.....
Some more exciting news of the week! I am hopefully going to get to take part in the Payson Temple Open House! It starts only a few days before I will probably be heading to Portugal, but President McCune and his wife came to Vernal this week and gave us some training, and made it sound like they were going to try and get everyone involved! Super Stoked about that! So I will probably be at the open house answering questions and doing the little video portion etc. Way Excited for that to happen.
The general Women's broadcast on Saturday was SO good! Oh man it got me stoked for general conference which is THIS WEEK!!!!! I don't know about you, but I am so excited for general conference! I am not sure yet, but there is a possibility that we may get to actually go to general conference. They take so many missionaries from the Provo mission, and Sister Wagner hasn't gone yet, so...who knows!
I hope you all are doing well! I love you guys so much! Man I just feel like bragging about my family to everyone! You guys are the greatest! Hope you have the most fantastic week! Enjoy general conference, and if you are feeling courageous, think of someone that you could invite to watch general conference with you! I can promise you that they will not be able to deny the spirit that comes from listening to the prophet and apostles of God!

-Sister Selk 
Vernal:  A whole lot nothing.  LOVE IT!

We didn't find a lot of investigators this week but we found puppies so we called it a success!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Vernal, Utah - it's as hick as it sounds!

Yup....Vernal Utah. The farthest area from the mission president right next to the Colorado border. A nice little town covered in trailer houses, where people think it is ok to decorate with garbage, and where the only kind of dress pants people own are khaki pants....hahaha It has been an adventure. To be honest, I didn't know that this part of Utah even existed.....feels like a whole different state here!
This week has been a bit of a tough one. Saying goodbye to my district on Tuesday was so hard. They picked me up around 4 on Tuesday and we went right over to the Mission President's house to have supper. It was pretty hard being with a bunch of missionaries who I didn't know, so we are just going to skip over the rest of that night.
Wednesday we had some training at the church and then we found out who our trainers would be and what area we would be in. Sister Wagner is my trainer. She has been out for 7 1/2 months, and has A LOT of energy (still trying to adjust to that). We drove the 3 hours to Vernal after that and got right to work. That afternoon we went to our first lesson, which consisted of us having to go off-roading through a field to get to the house, and on the way out to the house we ran into the dad and kids picking up scarp metal in the field (If that doesn't give you any indication of what it is like in Vernal I don't know what will). So Hick!!! I was a little worried about this at first, but I can tell you that I have been so blessed-I love the people here. They are definitely unique, but I love them. Pretty much all the people we are teaching at the moment are less-active members. We finally got to the house for that first lesson and I could feel the spirit so strong. This particular family has been going through some pretty difficult times, but I could feel the Lord's love for them, and it felt so good to testify that I knew that the Lord was watching out for them. The mom just looked at us while we were there and said, "Don't give up on me." Ahhh. It was so cool to hear that. It was a pretty neat first experience.
Thursday was a pretty normal day of teaching lessons and studying etc. But there is this couple we are teaching-the Reynolds, who remind me so much of the Olsen's in our ward. They told us this week that they set a temple date to be sealed on April 11, so we are extremely stoked for that. Our adventure of the week consisted of us driving around Vernal at 10:30 at night in desperate need for a toilet plunger....!! hahah Sister Wagner has some serious allergies and issues with her bowels and so that has brought some fun times....
We got to do some service at a horse stable on Friday- Basically I spent the hour brushing horses and realizing how much I really don't like horses....they freak me out. 
Sidenote: you know you are serving in Utah when you eat cafe rio 2x in one week......I'm starting to worry that all my working out at the MTC is going to go down the drain here. Pray for me.
Saturday I got to experience some pretty awkward door approaches...hahahah oh boy, we are going to have to work on those! And we also got to help a lady tie some quilts.
Sunday was a good time at church....I don't really have a lot to say about that? We had two lessons last night. One was with the Short's family-again they are extremely hick, but they have a 9 year old son who is SO smart!!! It blows my mind! He has read the Book of Mormon Stories twice now because he just loves them so much! You couldn't help but feel his spirit just jumping out of him. We set a baptismal date for him on April 18! So Stoked.
Well, it has been a bit of a struggle here in Vernal. It has been hard not being in Portugal and sometimes it wears on me even though I try not to let it, but in every lesson I instantly become happy and excited to be here, so that has definitely been a blessing. I am so grateful that I can be a missionary. It's an incredible opportunity to feel Christ's love for his Children. Oh, by the way! Guess who gets home from his mission this week!!! Jacob?!?!?! Is that not crazy! It blew my mind!
Anyways, I love you guys a bunch. Rents- it looks like you had so much fun on your cruise! So awesome! I love hearing from you all, if you want to send me mail here in Vernal, this is the Address:
85 N 600 E
Provo, Utah 84606
Have a great Week! Amo Voces!
-Sister Selk
Sister Wagner and Cafe Rio

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Your Missionary has arrived in the Provo, Utah Mission

We received your wonderful missionary this evening - Tuesday, March 17, 2015.  We are eager to serve together in the Utah Provo Mission as we endeavor to invite all we come in contact with to “Come Unto Christ”.  Thank you for preparing such a faithful missionary to enter the mission field.

You will receive a letter in the US mail letting you know of their assignment and trainer in the next couple of days.  You will also hear from your missionary by email every Monday - their preparation day.  Attached is a picture we took with them at the Mission Home here in the Utah Provo Mission.  What a wonderful group of missionaries … thank you for sharing them with us and The Lord!

President McCune

Provo, I'm coming for you!

This week has been chaos! CHAOS!!!!!! Get ready.
After we all accepted the fact that we wouldn't be getting an apostle during our stay at the MTC, last Tuesday we finally got an apostle!!!!!! Quetin L. Cook came to speak to us and it was an amazing devotional. Our district sat right in the middle only 4 rows back from him and it was like he was speaking right to us. Incredible. As we were singing the opening hymn, I couldn't help but just look at him because he was sitting on he stand and had the most deep look on his face-like something was on his mind. And then he got up and just blew us away with what he had to say. He talked about the process of assigning mission calls, and also said if we have more faith we will have more success. So you better believe I am working hard on my faith.
Also I had a pretty neat experience at the temple last week. I was sitting in the celestial room thinking about being reassigned and just praying that everything would work out and that I would accept anywhere that I would be sent to. In the middle of my thoughts Joshua 1:9 popped into my head and the words "Be of good cheer for the Lord thy God is with thee whither so ever thou goest" kept replaying in my mind. It definitely gave me the comfort I needed at that time.
On Wednesday our district got to host all the new missionaries coming into the MTC. It was so fun to see so man new missionaries coming in, but it was pretty hard for me to watch them say goodbye to their families. I got to host a sister from Ecuador going to Ukraine and a sister from Idaho going to California!
Later that afternoon Sister Parkinson and I decided it would be a good idea to sneak into the fireside with the new missionaries to hear Elder Cervantes and Sister Steagal sing their musical number....we put our orange dots back on our name tags and were immediately swept into the room with all the new missionaries. But as soon as the meeting started and they started to sing called to serve, Sister Parkinson and I looked at each other and instantly felt so guilty about the whole situation. We faked a bathroom emergency and got out of there as soon as we could! That's my sin of the week for you.
Thursday we had in-field orientation.......Probably the longest day I have had thus far at the MTC......I was 9 hours long! Too long, but we got through it. Thursday was also the day we got our reassignments. It ended up being me, Elder Mills, Elder Peterson, and one other elder from the other district that didn't get Visas. Elder Reni gave me my reassignment paper and automatically I knew something was up because it didn't have a yellow paper attached to it, so I was too surprised when I opened it up and it said I would be reassigned to.......
PROVO UTAH!!!!!!!!
Pretty exciting.
I have definitely got my fair share of jokes about it this week. I was pretty surprised it wasn't a reassignment to Canada, since I don't have a visa for the states, but that makes me hopeful that I won't be here too long. With that being said, I plan to work as hard as I can despite where I am serving. It will definitely be an adjustment, but it will be a good learning experience.
I have to tell you about our TRC experience from this week, because it was one of the highlights of the week for me. TRC is when we skype members in different areas that speak Portuguese and teach them a lesson that will help them come closer to Christ. This week we got to skype a family in Brazil. Let me tell you......they were the most beautiful Brazilian family I have ever seen! It was a mom, her daughter who was probably around 18, her son about 17, another daughter about 13, and the youngest son was about 10. They were incredible. We talked about Helaman 5:12 and how if we build our testimonies on the Lord that he will strengthen us and support us in our Trials. I asked the 13 year old girl to read the scripture and she read it in he most beauiful Portuguese I have ever heard. Afterwards I had to tell her that my dream was to speak Portuguese like her and they all just laughed. While we were talking about our message the mom asked if she could share an experience. I didn't catch everything she said because the sound was really bad, but during the middle of her sharing this experience she started weeping. The spirit was so strong and I was trying to hold back the tears as I listened to the little portions I could hear. Afterwards I thanked her for sharing and just told her that I knew tat the Lord loved her and her family and was there for them. I thanked them for their testimonies and their strength. We also asked if there was anything we could do for them, and after a moment of thinking the 17 year old boy asked if we were happy on our missions. AHHH!!!! It was the coolest thing to express to him how amazing missions are and how happy we feel. Absolutely incredible! We didn't want to say goodbye, but eventually we did and Sister Parkinson and I just flipped out because we were so happy! Irmao Belchior Skyped them again after we left the room and evaluated our lesson with them, and later told us that they all loved the lesson and felt the spirit so strongly, but the best part was when he told us that because of what we had said, that boys desire to serve a mission had increased substantially. I couldn't believe it. Such an incredible family!
Sunday I had to speak in church. Oh gosh, that was an experience. The Branch President says he looks for people who walk in with halos on their head, but I was trying to look especially cynical that morning, so I don't think that is true. You don't find out if you speak until literally 2 minutes before your up speaking, and I thought for sure this week I would be safe since there were 25 missionaries leaving and much more qualified girls to speak. Unfortunately I out of all the girls in our branch got asked to speak. The best part: it had to be in Portuguese. It was pretty horrific....but I guess it was good practice. I was definitely teary eyed talking about how much I loved my district and then directly after I spoke our district had the musical number for the week and we all sang "God be with you until we meet again". I was bawling during the whole thing. Awful.
The rest of the week was just a bunch more tears. Yuck. We said Goodbye to Elder Peterson on Sunday night because he got reassigned to Chicago, and then yesterday we had to say goodbye to Irma Wilson, Irmao Belchior, and Elder Mills. It was a rough couple of days that were filled with some very special moments that I will never forget.
The rest of the district was supposed to head to the airport an hour ago but their flights ended up being wrong and now they are just waiting to see what is next, so it looks like they will be the ones to send me off to the Foreign land of Provo! 
I am looking forward to what this week has in store for me. I am really not sure what to expect!! Oh by the way, I am so stoked to finally say that I will be getting another sister in June!!!!!! AHHHH! Congrats Lindsay and Rawley! I am so so excited for the both of you!
Hope you all are doing well! Amo Voces!

-Sister Selk

We mastered breakfast!

Sister Parkinson and I had matching t-shirts made for us.  So Good!


Trying to slide down the banister.  (This is before we got in trouble for sliding down the banister!)

The Crew

I have no idea what is going on in this picture but it is so accurate!

We couldn't help it - we had to take this horrendous photo.

Both Districts going to Portugal

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

I'm Being Deported

Well, it sounds like it is official that I will be getting a temporary reassignment to who knows where until I get my visa.  We were pretty hopeful I got my visa earlier this week because they handed out flight itineraries to all of our district and even I got one, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. I was pretty bummed to find this out at first because my whole district as well as the other district we are really close with were all going to be flying on the same flight- 25 missionaries heading to Portugal, but I will probably be the only one not going with them. Sad day! But, I realize the Lord is in charge and will send me where he wants me so I guess I will find out where I am going soon enough!
This week has been the most stressful week at the MTC- not knowing what is going on with my visa, and also the fact that we decided to do an English fast on Thursday.....It is probably a good thing that I am not going to Portugal because that just made me realize how little Portuguese I know! haha It was a struggle and by about 5 oclock that night I was about ready to crack, but it was a really good learning experience.
Last week at the temple I got the names to do initiatories and I looked down and 2 of them were from Portugal. I didn't think that was a coincidence and I got really excited.
Funny Story of the week:
Last P-day Sister Barratt came back to our room and said that someone had stolen her garments in the laundry room. We thought this was SO weird, so at breakfast the next morning we mentioned it to the elders and all of a sudden the just all stopped eating and busted up laughing. Now for the other side of the Story: Elder Reni was doing his laundry and then when it came time to fold his laundry he found 3 sets of ladies garments in with his load! He was freaked right out and didn't know what to do with them, so the only solution that ran through their heads was to cut them up. hahaha So it turns out that Elder Reni- out of everyone that could have taken them in the MTC- was the one who stole Sister Barratts garments....We had a pretty good laugh about that.
For other exciting news, we found a dog at the MTC this week, and we probably got way more excited than any normal human being would, but it was so nice to see an animal!
To just explain to you a little bit about how much I love my district and how much I am going to miss them, I will tell you about what happened last night. I think my district could tell I was a little discouraged about the whole Visa situation, so that night Elder Hinkey came up to me and said that he noticed that I was a bit down, but that he wrote down some scriptures that he thought would help me. He gave me his notebook to read and inside he listed 5 scriptures and with each one he shared his personal thoughts on the scripture and why he liked it etc. His insights were amazing, and it definitely helped me out a ton. The Elders in my district are literally incredible, and I can't wait to hear about the amazing things they are going to do on their missions. I am going to be WEEPING when I have to say goodbye to them. 
I wanted to share another spiritual thought with you this kind of goes along with what I talked about last week.  In class on Friday we were reading the BOM, and Elder Papa T picked a random Chapter, Chapter 22 in 2nd Nephi. I am not going to lie, at first I was thinking....awesome, An Isaiah Chapter, I am probably not going to learn a thing, but of course it ended up answering some of the questions I have been having perfectly! Verse 16 is especially incredible in my opinion. I have been thinking a lot about trials....not because I feel like I am experiencing a lot of trials, but more because I think it is an incredible concept. In verse 16 it talks about how God created both the Smith and the Waster- both of which beat us down and try us. Yet the difference is that The Smith (Christ) pushes us and stretches us in a way that shapes us into something better. Sometimes he blows on the coals and ignites a flame that can sometimes hurt us, but he does that for our benefit and to make us an instrument for his work. And the Waster's only desire is to destroy us. I thought that was pretty powerful. 
I know that God does everything for a purpose. I know he doesn't give us trials to punish us, but to help us become better and to grow. I am excited for the week ahead! I can't believe my time here at the MTC is almost over! I have loved every minute of it, and I can honestly say that I will miss it here!
I hope you all have an amazing week! (Mom and Dad especially on your cruise- don't feel too guilty eating unlimited ice cream everyday!) I will let you know how things are in________. whenever I find out where I am going! Amo Voces!
-Sister Selk

The most recent girls in our zone.

The most incredible teacher - Irma Wilson

Simple Joys at the MTC

Doing laundry the only way I know how.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

No More Frosted Flakes!

Oi Familia!
The weeks are flying at the MTC, I wish I could describe it, but I really can't comprehend it! It is insane! But here are some of the highlights of week 4!
Last Tuesday we had the most amazing devotional by Bishop Causse from the general bishopric of the church. It was the most uplifting and inspiring devotional that I think I have experienced during my time here at the MTC. He based his whole talk on 1 Corinthians chapter 2. I would highly recommend you read that chapter sometime this week, because it is incredible!  If I have learned anything here at the MTC it is that everything we do, the impact that we have on others, and our purpose is not about the wisdom of Man, but the power of God. I have learned that it is ok if I am not the smartest or the most eloquent speaker in my language because what makes a missionaries role so amazing is our weaknesses and our humility. God calls 18, 19, 20, and 21 year old boys and girls because of this attribute. If he wanted wise professional missionaries to preach his gospel he would call the Brother Schindlers of our ward. I thought that was a pretty amazing concept! Also after reading in Moses 6 this week, I also realized that our weaknesses will not necessarily become our strengths, but our weaknesses are our strengths....MIND BLOWN. It is so hard to comprehend the fact that what I consider a weakness of myself, may be the very thing that other people see as a strength and my weaknesses may be the very thing that convert others to this gospel. And this applies to EVERYONE, not just missionaries!
This week our district got the idea of making a district 7B cereal challenge.......
In the MTC they have towers of cereal and we got the idea that as a district we should try to empty and entire tower by ourselves...We took it very seriously, but in the end half our district went half-heartedly and it was really all the girls in our district that pulled most of the weight! We did it Saturday night right before fast sunday....that was probably the worst idea we have ever had. In the end Elder Reni ate the most bowls of cereal, eating in total 11 bowls, then Sister Barratt and I tied for second place eating 7 bowls of cereal. 7 BOWLS OF CEREAL!!!!!! And with the help of our district we did barely manage to finish the whole tower. Biggest struggle of my life, and I never want to eat another bowl of frosted flakes in my life. Needless to say, we were feeling pretty sick that night.....Other than that though, I have been eating pretty healthy here hahah.
A couple of Funny moments of the week:
We had a lesson with Abrao this week and during the middle of it he told us that he had to leave to go to scouts,and we were like, " scouts with our church?!" He responded Yes, and we were thinking "What are we even doing here?! He has got this church thing down!" We quickly committed him to baptism and of course he said yes. It was such an odd lesson, but so great.
We also had TRC again with the members Friday night, and we were in a lesson with a Lady named Mia. Our plan was to talk about service and I wanted to Share Mosiah 2:17 during our lesson, but I had Mosiah 2: 41 marked from a lesson we had earlier in the day and didn't even think about it when I asked her to read Mosiah 2:41.......While she was reading it I realized what I had done and I was trying so hard not to bust out laughing. Sister Parkinson also realized, and being the good companion she is, as soon as she was finished reading it she replied, "Sister that is a beautiful scripture, but we actually gave you the wrong scripture to read." We all had a good laugh about that. Rookie Mistake!
I also just wanted to thank you all for fasting for me this Sunday. I definitely felt all your support and love this week. I really am not to worried about this VISA issue, and I know everything is going to work out how it is supposed to. Also I found out this week that they use the same process to reassign you as they do when you get your mission call. So if I do end up getting reassigned for a time, I know that it will be just as inspired.
For the most part my time at the MTC has gone so fast, but I have to admit that I will not miss hearing the constant singing of primary songs and disney songs in the morning, noon, and afternoon. IT IS CONSTANT! I literally got woken up a few mornings ago by a girl belting out A Child's Prayer (typical) in some forced Vibrato......I was not happy about it. This morning I was in the Shower and another girl was got to the point where I tried to out-sing her with some Hall & Oats "You make my dreams come true" to shake it up a little bit, but she just sang louder. And then I began to weep in the shower. Just kidding. But It is a real struggle.
We also found out some crazy news this week that in a short time from now...not exactly sure when, but the sisters will out number the Elders at the MTC. Isn't that Crazy! History making! I am so grateful to be a part of the Lord's work at this time! I think we get to host tomorrow, so I will be that mean Sister that rips the girls away from their families.....Horrible, but I am weirdly excited for it.
We had an awesome Lesson from Irma Wilson this week about Moroni 7. We were talking about how real miracles are, but she posed this question to us. 
"We say we believe in miracles, but do you really believe that God can make a miracle out of you?" 
I thought that was very thought provoking and wanted to share.
One Last thought Provoking quote that Sister Parkinson shared with me on the first week here. She said she read somewhere that as missionaries, we are called to serve in the language in which we can testify the most powerfully. Right now it is hard to realize that my broken Portuguese is really the language that I can testify the most powerfully in, but the more I think about it, the more I realize the truthfulness of this statement. The Church is true! 
Anyways, I hope you all have a fantastic week! I know I am going to enjoy every second of the next two weeks while I am at the MTC. It is such a priviledge. Thanks for all your shining example to me. I love hearing from all of you! Amo Voces. 
-Sister Selk

Quotes of the week:
"You can call my brother, he sounds just like me!"
-This was Elder Papa T's response when I was dwelling on the fact that I won't even get to call my parent in the airport. hahah so funny
"Rice Krispies are the wheels that turn HISTORY!"

Also I realize that my quotes are really dumb most of the times, but trust me, they are actually hilarious.

Sister Parkinson - double fisting it!

Victory lap with the empty tower

7 bowls later