Thursday, April 21, 2011


How is everyone doing? I feel like I havent heard from people in a while. Is everyone still alive? :) oh wait my district leader just literally gave me the letters from ky and mom. Thanks for those! Mom I cant wait to hear about efy and see pictures from what you were saying about preparing it sounds like it was amazing! and ky thanks for the letter I absolutely loved the cute little pic and I am excited that you finally got some new "spreading" :) you will have to send me a pic. Everyone else that reads this Update me!! :) You only have 11 more days to write me then who knows what mail is going to be like when I get to argentina. I am starting to kind of freak out that I only have 11 more days in the mtc, this means that I only have 11 more days where I can even speak english because once I get to Argentina it will be todo espanol. ahhh!!!! I have so much to learn. Speaking of learning spanish we had an AMAZING experience here at the mtc this past week. As you know we have a fireside every sunday and then a devotional every tuesday normally it is just some random speaker, we have had a couple of the quorom of the 70 but this past tuesday was a little different. We never know who the speaker is going to be until they walk onto the stage at 7 pm to start speaking so this past tuesday we could all just feel this different spirit around the mtc and as we all sat in the gym with anticipation to know who we would have the opportunity to hear from we all knew that it was someone special and lucky enough we had the amazing opportunity to hear from Elder Scott! I was so stoked especially after his amazing talk at conference. He talk was pretty incredible but the one thing that stood out to every single person listening was when he asked all of the missionaries who was learning a new language and as the majority of the room raised their hands he then said something similar to this: "In the authority of the apostleship I invoke upon you the blessing of the gift of tongues for those who are striving. He said: you will recieve additional help and support. I confer this gift upon you. you still have to study but I think you will find it easier." I'm sure you can only imagine the spirit at that moment in time. It was truly incredible to hear an apostle of the lord invoke this blessing upon us. It just gave me hope that through the lords help I WILL be able to learn this language. :) 
     This week was also kind of an interesting week because last thursday my companion and I walked into our classroom to our Branch president standing there telling us that he needed to talk to all of the sisters in our district. (there are 4 of us) He ended up saying that due to some things going on they were going to have to switch up our companionships. I was devasted!! I absolutely love my companion. We get along so well, we teach so well together, and we know how to have fun but also focus and study. I did not want to let that go but the other sisters in our district have a horrible companionship. They dont get along at all and they are always arguing, i guess they thought that if they switched us up that things would be better. After a long day of thinking I had to switch companions they ended up telling us that we were just going to have companionship exchanged for two days so we were apart for 2 days and luckily we are happily back together and hopefully companions for the rest of the mtc! So things are good at the moment. :)
     Another exciting moment of the week is that yesterday (wednesday) I was able to be a new missionary host, meaning we bacically take the new missionaries around to check in. As I was standing there with sister horsepool waiting for a sister to arrive I look over by the cars and see the Foggs dropping Meghan off. I literally sprinted over there, I was so excited!!!! I got to see them for a minute and then sister horsepool and I took Meghan around the mtc and got her all checked in and in her class. I think she was excited to see someone she knew and I was excited to see her. She lives with two of the sisters in my zone so I think I will see her a lot which is cool!
   Well I dont know if I can think of anything else at the moment but like usual right when I get off of this I will probably think of something else I can tell you. but some exciting news is I signed my visa on tuesday and I should be getting my travel plans today!!!! yipee!!! we are all getting so excited, I know I have so much to learn still but I am excited to finally get to argentina and teach people the gospel. Its exciting to hear other peoples mission stories but I am ready to creat my own mission stories!! :) oh I met my second cousin. the other day when we had our argentina meeting for signing our visas I heard his name because grandma had told me his name and so I went up to him and told him that I thought we were related and he just kind of looked at me funny cause he had no idea what i was talking about and just said oh cool. so umm ya that was an interesting experience. haha Well i think that is all for now! i love you all. keep writing me, letters really do keep me going! and know that I am doing great and becoming closer to my savior everyday! it really is an exciting and happy time of my life. I will send pictures home today. hope everyone is doing great. have a wonderful day and i love you lots!!
Hermana Van Wagenen
P.S. Heather I swear you are super popular, today at the temple some girl came up to me and said she knows you. I guess you were in the same ward this semester.. i didnt get her name though. haha but really i have met so many people that know you. oh and I hope finals went well and drive home safely tomorrow! i will be thinking about you!!


Holla again!!!
como estan? I swear these weeks fly by I literally feel like I was just sitting on this computer writing an email but aparently that was a week ago. I have some exciting news!!!! Tomorrow we have a meeting where we will be getting our visas!!! and then tuesday we have another meeting to get our visas signed!!!! guess what that means??? we will be leaving on time! I was literally so excited when I found out. I think next week we will be getting our travel plans to leave. Ahhh i am so excited but at the same time feel so not ready for that! On monday we will be the oldest district in the zone. that is honestly hard for me to believe but it is the truth! :)
     Some things that happened this past week... well on sunday the BYU mens choir came and sang for our devotional and it was incredible! We are so used to always having speakers that it was a cool little change to have a musical fireside and wow do they sing amazing! Nick Nelson is in the choir so it was fun to see a familiar face up there. oh and heather I saw your friend ummm I cant think of his name ohhh andrew!!  I saw him across the room on sunday and I ran over to say hi to him. and then he ended up sitting by me at the fireside so I talked to him for a little bit and he was teaching me some of his thailand language. Its funny how I am seeing all of these people that are heathers friends. For devotional on tuesday Elder Rasband spoke to us and he talked a lot about the importance of having the spirit with you always. It is so important that as you are teaching lessons that you are feeling the spirit because that is how the investigator is going to be converted is through the spirit. THis is something that I have really realized since being here and as I hear new missionaries teach lessons I realize how much I have grown since being here. It really is amazing the difference in lessons when you are truly focusing on the investigator and not focusing on the lesson you should be teaching. Hermana Hamman and I had a really cool experience this past week with one of our lessons. We have a progressing investigators whos name is Carolina (she is our teacher Hermana Cannon acting like one of the investigators she had) and a couple of weeks ago we asked her to be baptized and she said she wanted to!! which was ways exciting, my first baptism on my mission!! :) ( ok so maybe its fake.. but still) but anyways as we would plan for her lessons we just felt like she really didnt understand the things we were teaching her and why she was being baptized so this past week as we planned for our lesson with her. We took a long time to plan and really just focused on her and asking her questions and reading the book of mormon with her. and after the lessons she just stopped and looked at us and asked "how did you think to teach your lesson like that" and we both just looked at each other really confused and said we just really wanted to focus on asking questions and she said that is the best i have ever felt during one of your lessons! how exciting it was for us to know that our investigator felt something good from our lesson! A couple of weeks ago I was just really feel down on my self with my spanish and just feeling like I dont ever feel the spirit when I am teaching my lessons in spanish but this past week that changed a little bit and as I started to focus on the investigator and not think about how horrible my spanish is that spirit was so strong. There is still so much I have to learn. I really dont know any spanish but I just continue to try my best and to work as hard as I can and just have faith that the lord will help me along the way. Missionary work truly is incredible. In relief society on sunday the speaker said, "Our mission is the mtc for the rest of our lives!" how true is that. My mission is preparing me for the rest of my life. I just think everyday how grateful I am for the opportunity that I have to be on a mission, I know that it is helping me in so many ways and it will help me for the rest of my life. I am glad that I listened to the spirit when I was told that I needed to go on a mission because I know that is was so true. Thanks for all of your amazing examples in my life! I think everyday how greatful I am for my family and friends back home. I love you so much and pray that you are all doing well. Keep updating me because i am not kidding when I say I want to know what is going on at home and in the real world. I love you all so much!!!
con amor,
Kara :)
p.s. efy is this next week right? have so much fun at efy!!! and I better get updates on it!!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011


Holla my family and friends!!
I cant believe that it has already been a week since I last wrote. Time is going to fast and I am just getting scared/ excited as the day of me leaving the mtc gets closer and closer. Just a few weeks ago we were the new ones/ babies of the zone and now our branch president is calling us the older district. Where has the time gone. Ahhh!!!!
Well this past weekend was conference. Wasnt it just amazing!! It was so cool to have the opportunity to watch conference here at the mtc and as a missionary. It was the first time I have watched every session of general conference with no distractions and just full attention on conference. and what a cool opportunity to watch it with so many missionaries. We all gathered in the gym as we watched 8-10 hrs of conference. I absolutely loved Elder richard g. scotts talk as he talked about his wife and his love for her. It was just the sweetest most sincere talk ever and I also absolutely loved as Jeffrey R. holland testified of pres monson saying he knows that he is called of god. I just felt the spirit so strong while he testified and i just got an overwhelming love for pres monson and I just knew that he really is called of god and he is our modern day prophet on the earth today.
This past monday was no english day meaning we had to speak spanish all day! Ahh it was crazy, our district has decided that every monday is going to be all spanish day. It was pretty funny because if someone that actually knew spanish heard us speaking they would laugh because nothing we say is conjugated correct or said right but we still all understand each other and i think it really is good because i have realized that really the only way that we are going to learn this lanugage is by speaking it as much as possible and just practicing the things that we learn. Memorizing only does so much but just speaking is what is going to help me learn.
This past week I met several people who had connections with fresno one is really good friends with lyndons fiance. she is going to taiwan and she went to school in hawaii and she also knows beau and mckenzie fogg. I also met this sister who is going to france i think and she lived in fresno for a couple of years and she knows several people i know like matt termeer and michael green. The mormon world is so small it is so cool to find people that you have connections with. Grandma bonnie said that i have a 2nd cousin that just got here in the mtc. I will have to be on the look out for him. It would be interesting to find him. The other day I met a sister that is from Resistencia!!! it was seriously the coolest thing ever!! She is serving her mission on temple square english speaking and she doesnt know very much english right now so it was kind of hard to communicate with her but it was so amazing!! she was so sweet and so excited to here that i was going there. She tried to tell me all about resistencia as we spoke in our little spanish/english we knew. i am going to find her again because she made me so happy and made me so excited to get to argentina to meet the people there.
Well i prob have a ton more i can say but my companions are waiting for me so i better go. I love you all tons. It is amazing how much my testimony has grown in there 5 weeks of being here. I love this gospel so much and couldnt imagine my life with out it. The church is so true and I know that pres monson is a true prophet of god. Read the book of mormon it is incredible. love you lots!!
love, hermana vanwagenen
p.s. keep the letters coming! they are like gold while on a mission!! ( i am not kidding! )

Sunday, April 3, 2011

picture time.

yay for pictures! Kara sent us these and wrote her own little commentary on each one, they made me laugh! ha:)

"Fresno people in MTC (I look super awkward)"

"My district! 1st temple walk 3/6/11"

"Elder Grimes and I"

"Hermana Tonga and Hermana Hammon. I love these two, I look kind of special.. but oh well."

"P-DAY! Hermana Hammon and I 3/10/11"

"All of the sisters in my zone after the temple 3/10/11"

"My companion Hermana Hammon and I, temple walk 3/13/11"

"Sister Cheney and I (friend from Idaho)"