Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Eagle Has Landed!

In the wee hours of Tuesday morning (about 3 am) I woke up and looked at my phone. Taking a quick look at my email, I was shocked to see a message from Abigail! It said that for her last night in the MTC she was allowed to send email and she was able to chat back and forth if I was on the other end of her email. My eyes instantly scanned the email to find out what time it had come in and I cried when I saw that it had come in at about 9 pm on Monday night and I had not see it until 3 am Tuesday!!!  When Tim stirred I leaned over to him and asked if he was awake. He mumbled that he was so I told him that Abigail had written and I hadn't seen it and how sad I was that I missed her email. He didn't respond after that so I guess he wasn't awake after all. All I have thought about all day was the fact that I missed the chance I had to chat with her through email last night. Today Abigail left Mexico. I tracked her flight from Mexico City to Dallas and from Dallas to Phoenix! Finally this evening a letter and pictures arrived from Abigail's Mission President and his wife...

 Dear Brother and Sister Valenta,

Sister Christensen and I wanted to let you know that your daughter, Sister Valenta, has arrived safely at the Arizona Tempe Mission Home. Attached you will find two photos that we thought you might enjoy. One is your missionary with Sister Christensen and me and the other is with the group of missionaries that arrived with her.

We are so pleased to have Sister Valenta serving in the Arizona Tempe Mission. Monday is Preparation Day at which time she will let you know her mailing address, the Zone and District to which she is assigned, and the name of her Trainer.

As we met with Sister Valenta, we stressed the principles of obedience, hard work and worthiness.  This mission holds great potential for each missionary assigned. The members are strong and love these great Elders and Sisters. You can be assured they, and we, will do all possible to watch over your daughter.  It is a very special responsibility we feel toward our missionaries. We want to see them enjoy a happy and successful mission.

Our missionaries have permission to Skype or telephone their families twice per year: on Mothers’ Day and at Christmas. But if you need to get a message to your daughter, or if you have any questions, please call us directly. We do want the missionaries to receive letters and e-mails from home on a regular basis encouraging them in their proselyting efforts.

Thank you for raising a daughter who has a desire to serve the Lord.

Sincerely yours,
President Spencer Christensen

 Poor Abigail, this is the first time we've gotten a good look at the cast she is in. I just want to give her a great big hug. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Letter 5 October 19, 2016 Last letter from the MTC!


This week has been so great! A lot of studying, but that is nothing new. 
Yesterday, Sister Oscarson (Young Women's President of the Church) came to the MTC! She came and talked to my district, but I was in a lesson, so I didn't get to talk to her... I was pretty upset, but then, she came into the cafeteria to eat dinner with the missionaries. She sat RIGHT NEXT TO ME! She was so nice! She asked about my life and where I grew up. She said she has been to Lexington several times, and she adores it! She gave me a hug afterwards and told me to heal quickly haha! Way cool! 

Here at the MTC, I have learned so much. I have come to understand the role of the Savior, and the importance of the Atonement. I am so excited to go out and teach the people of southern Arizona the Gospel. It is so crazy to think that I leave in just a few days!! I leave the MTC at 2:30 am on Tuesday morning. They had us pack up everything in our suitcases and weigh them so that we'll be set and ready to go. I don't feel ready whatsoever, but I guess you'll never actually be ready. If I left the MTC when I was ready, I would be here for about 2 years haha! I know that the Lord will make up the difference, and will help me through all trials. I am so excited to start my work in Arizona. This will be the greatest adventure, and I am happy I have the Lord beside me through it all!

Sé que Dios nos ama. (I know that God loves us)

I love you all! I'll talk to you all soon! 
Arizona, here I come!

Hermana Abigail Valenta 

Questions from Mom

How is your arm feeling? Is it feeling better? Has the cast felt tight because of it being swollen?
My arm is feeling pretty bad still. I have been on a post-surgery pain killer, but even that doesn't seem to work all the time. 

And what were you doing playing volleyball anyway? :P  I think there are lessons on obedience happening before your eyes!
My district and I always play volleyball during exercise time! Because I am not allowed to jump, I just play in the back row. Now, my district lets me serve the ball with my left hand haha! They take turns throwing the ball up in the air for me, and I underhand serve it with my left hand!

So you leave the MTC on Tuesday, Oct 25th so how come you said your last day to write home is on Wednesday, Oct 19? So what will you be doing on Friday if it’s not your P-day? 
I will just have normal classes on Friday! My P day was moved to Wednesday just for our last week.

Did you get the pictures I had that service in Mexico make for you? I got an email that says you got them. :)
I did get all the prints! I showed them to my district! I am going to need another little photo album!!
Pre-broken limb pic :)


Friday, October 14, 2016

Letter 4 October 14, 2016 Mexico MTC

On Wednesday, October 12th, Tim received a call from a doctor at the MTC in Mexico who was calling to let us know that Abigail got hurt while playing volleyball and that she broke her arm. The doctor said they would put her in a cast for 6 weeks and that she would probably need some physical therapy once the cast is off. He said he would contact the Mission office in Tempe to let them know the situation and they would have to make some different arrangements for her because they wouldn't put her on a bike with a cast on her arm! So we will wait to hear how they will accommodate her once she arrives in AZ on October 25th. 

Hey everyone!!

Well this week, I had a little accident... My district and I were playing volleyball together, I ran into another Hermana, and I fell on the ground.  I fractured my right elbow!! I am in a cast for 6 weeks... crazy, right? So, this letter is going to be a little shorter because I can't really type with my left hand very well haha!

My time here at the CCM is almost over! My last day I write home here in Mexico is this Wednesday!! That will be my last time I can check my email for about 2 weeks...

I have been learning so much Spanish during my time here in Mexico! We had to try to give a leccion (lesson) in English, and it was so hard!! Spanish is definitely challenging, but it is coming along pretty well!

My mom has created a blog where she posts each of my letters, and so to save time, and so you don't have to be notified of my letters 3 or 4 times, from now on I will be sending this general email to my mom, and she will post it   on the blog she created. It will help save time since I only have a small amount of time to write each week.

I love getting emails from you all! Thank you  so much for taking the time to write me! Thank you for your prayers! They are definitely felt all the way in Mexico!!

I love you all!

Hermana Valenta

Questions from Mom

So how is your broken arm?  Which arm did you break?
My arm hurts like heck.  Definitely the worst pain i have experienced in my life haha.. I am on some heavy narcotics now, but i still feel the pain.. hopefully it will start feeling better soon.

 Did the other girl that you collided with get hurt?
 Nope, she didn't even fall to the ground haha!!

When I send a box is there anything special you would like me to include? (nutella, snickers bars, oatmeal, etc?)
All of those things are fine! If you find any lightweight skirts, can you send them??? Just solid colors if you can.

Are there some pictures of anybody that you would like to have prints made of? 
Mackson, Jordan and McKenna, you and dad, August, Tim and Lisa...just anyone haha!

What was your best experience this past week?
Ummmm my roommate and I bonded a lot in the 5 hours in the emergency room. We were able to get to know each other better and become closer. I also loved talking to Dad on the phone even though I cried the whole time. (We think that between being homesick and being hurt she was extra-emotional when being able to talk to her dad.) :(

How is the Spanish going? :)
Spanish is good!! We had to try to give a leccion in ingles, and i couldn't do it!! Spanish is easier than igles sometimes!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Letter 3 - October 7, 2016 Mexico MTC

Hermana Valenta at the Temple in Mexico City

Hello everyone!

This week, I don´t have as much time as I'd like. But, I just wanted to type something up really fast!

This week was really great! There were a lot of ups and downs, but that is to be expected. Our Spanish is still pretty rough, but it is getting better slowly but surely!

I only have about 2 weeks left here in Mexico City! I am so excited to go to Arizona, but it is going to be sad to leave here! The natives are constantly shooting off fireworks and partying until 6 am. 

I love you all so very much. Thank you for the prayers and for the support! 

I know this church is true, and that through prayer to our Heavenly Father, all of our questions can be answered. I know that He loves us so much, and so He sent His Son, Jesucristo to atone for our sins. I love this Gospel so much, and I can't wait to share it with the people of Arizona!

If you go to mtcmexicocarepackage.com you can write free little online letters to me! They hand out them out at the end of every day, so I would love to hear from you guys! I love you all so much! Thanks for everything you all do!

Questions from mom....

Is the food still “good”? :) 
The food is definitely getting interesting... They combined coconut and rice the other day.... 

What was the best experience of the week (besides conference!) :D
The best experience I had this week: Yesterday, we got to teach real people. They bring volunteers into the CCM (MTC in Spanish) who want to know more about the Gospel, and we have to teach them! They are all native Spanish speakers, and they don't know any Ingles (English in Spanish) at all!  Luckily, ours was already a member of the church, so we just talked about the Gospel for a bit! It was really awesome!

Letter 2 September 30, 2016 Mexico MTC

Hermana Valenta with her MTC companion, Hermana Coffeen from California!

Hello everyone! 

This week has been full of adventure! 
Last week, we went to the Mexico City Temple! It was so beautiful, and huge! While we were inside, there were 2 small earthquakes! It was definitely an interesting experience haha! But apparently that happens so often, the natives didn't really even acknowledge it! Crazy stuff! 

We have been in a lot of classes this week, and we were challenged to share The Plan of Salvation in Spanish in 3 minutes! And I did it!! It was really crazy! I have been learning so much here in such a short amount of time! 

Our instructor does role plays with us, and acts as an investigator that me and my companion have to teach. Yesterday, he came up to me and my companion and said we are some of the most advanced missionaries he has seen at the MTC! He asked us if we could be mentors with him and go around the MTC to help missionaries with their Spanish! I am so nervous!

I am truly blessed to be out here on a mission! Everyday just gets better and better! My time here in Mexico is almost half over! Only 3 more weeks! I am so excited to get to Arizona!
I love you guys so much! Thank you for all of your prayers and support! 

Love you all!

I send Abigail a separate email that has just our questions for her so she doesn't have to wade through our letter to pick out the questions to answer. Here are a few of the questions....

Do you get to go to the temple weekly while you are at the MTC?
We only get to go to the Temple 3 time while we are here. Lucky us, we get to go again today in about an hour! It was way hard to do the session in Spanish, but it was really cool as well. 

Are you having phone withdrawal? ;)
I don't miss my phone at all... the only thing I miss is music, and the weather app.... IT IS SO COLD HERE IN MEXICO! It rains constantly, and I was not prepared for that! All of my clothes were packed with Arizona in mind haha! It is so cold and rainy but its okay! My district and I just run around in the rain and play in the puddles. My zapatos (shoes in Spanish) are soaked, but the memories will be with my forever haha!

What is your favorite scripture for the missionary plaque they will put up at church?
2 Nephi 4:19 & 20 

"...I know in whom I have trusted.
My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep."

Hermana Valenta with her companion Hermana Coffeen

Elders and Sisters in front of the MCT 

The Mexico City Temple

Mexico Flag