Sunday, 30 March 2014

Second letter in the post from the MTC

Sunday 23. 03. 2014       

 Hola Querida familia!     

You don't know how much I miss hearing Spanish! the other night as sisters missionaries after we had finished our devotional the we normally have before we go to bed, the mission presidents wife Sister T. asked us to sing " I am a child of God" according to the language we speak. so we had the Samoans sing, the Tahitian , those from Kirabis as well as from Tonga and Hon Kong. Then when she asked me to sing in my language (Spanish) I was really ashamed to say that I only knew how to say the first part by heart " Yo soy un hijo de Dios..." since then on I wish that I thought to bring the children song book and a hymn book! and ever since I find myself translating in my head what anyone has said into Spanish in my head! haha! so now I am actually praying that maybe I will be sent to a Spanish speaking mission once I get to Sydney so that I can improve and not forget my Spanish!

But now for something FUNNY!! so on Friday as we were drawing close to the end of our last class for the day one of the elders from my district who is actually the district leader , suddenly gets up and rushes out of the classroom's door, we then found out from his companion that he had ripped his pants! we all starting laughing hysterically. He mentioned that just all of the sudden when he was going to sit down back in his chair that they just ripped. I guess they were just happening to rip any moment and it had to be while we were still in the class. So wanting to do something to help I offered to sew them up for him which was quite exciting for me because I was eager to open up my sawing kit that M.R. (our family friend) had given me and i now had a reason to do so. The next day the elder then gave me his ripped pants which he washed and as sister F. (her companion) got to our room I opened up the pants to see how big the rip was thinking that maybe it was little.....Absolutely not! , the rip was massive! starting from the top part of the pants seam on the bottom back all the way to the middle of the pants where is split into the two legs I if that makes sense! . I couldn't stop laughing when I saw it and now I am nearly don sawing all together!!

Another experience I want to share before I finish is that last Thursday we got to go to the Temple! ( Auckland, New Zealand Temple) wow the trip to get there was long but so worth it, the scenery is just beautiful, so many trees and valleys and hills all along the way . But the temple itself was AMAZING!! so beautiful and so so BIG!! what made my day even more special is that I was asked to be an escort to Sister M. from Vanuatu! that was such a beautiful experience, words really cant describe how great that was for me to be able to help her around the temple for the first time to receive her endowments. there was some hip cups along the way that I had trouble with but really hope I helped to make her experience good and memorable! on that day we were also allowed to take out our cameras and take pictures so I have loads that I cant wait to send!
Aah my time is up and I wish I had more time to write more!
I love you all very much , each and everyone of you are in my prayers! I miss you! but what makes that worse is that some of the . ( she didn't say what made that worse! :(  but of course she didnt have wipe out and I could see that my baby is missing home of course more than she would express!)

Lots of love

Sister Valdés xx
P.s Please apologise to papi that I didn't have time to read and reply to his email , the same for Sister K. (from our ward)

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

She is in the Mission field !!!

I just received this email from her Mission President:

26 March 2014

Brother and Sister Valdes

Sister Valdés arrived in the Australia Sydney North Mission safely.  Thank you for entrusting her into our care for the time of her mission.  Sister H. and I are mindful of the great trust you have placed in us by sharing your daughter with us.  When she arrived, we met her at the airport and took her to the mission office, where she was introduced to the office staff and some of the other missionaries.  This was then followed by lunch and orientation.  We will email a picture of your wonderful missionary with us.

Sister Valdés's companion is Sister C. from the United States.  They will be serving in Baulkham Hills Zone.

Please note that all mail is to be sent to the Australia Sydney North Mission Office:Sister Valdés , PO Box 2723, Carlingford Court, NSW 2118, Australia

We are sending a map of the mission which you may want to keep so you can see where your missionary is serving at any time.  Our mission is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world.  I am aware that the Lord blesses the families of missionaries in many special ways.  As your daughter serves, you will find that to be very true.  Your support is greatly appreciated.  You may contact the mission president, should the need arise, at any time.  Missionaries are allowed to send and receive email.  They check it at the local library on preparation day, which is usually Monday but can change depending on weekly circumstances.

Warmest Regards,

President P. F. H

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Shannen's last email from the MTC!!

Okay so the reason why i haven't sent you photos is that, here at the MTC we're not allowed to send any! :( I was sad when i read the sign but once i get my first pday on the mission field i will send as many as i can okay?(the photos on this entry have been added after she sent me her SD card from the mission field)
I'm so glad to see that J. is doing well and is having fun! Aaaahhhh i can't believe that he now has his license!!!!! He really had to get them before me hahah! But don't worry i will work hard to get them when i get back home!
Answering your question there are 4 sister missionaries who have come from the US and only them, however i hear there are others who will coming down to serve here in Auckland who went to the Provo MTC.
Well yes, today is my very last last day at the MTC!! I feel like i just arrived a couple of days ago! Tomorrow i have to get up super super early, at 2 o'clock to be precise so that we leave here by 4am to get to the airport! I'm dreading it but they have given us a descent amount of time to get enough sleep which is good. Today however is more of a clean up day where we are cleaning out our rooms and classrooms to leave it spotless for those who will be arriving here tomorrow and Thursday at the MTC.
Oh and some other great news that i haven't told you all, that Elder H. and his wife came to see all of us for a devotional last Tuesday. He says hello and sends his love to you and Papi.
 His talk to us was absolutely amazing and so was his wife's! It was the exact words that i needed to hear! He spoke about the ways we can hear God's words and mentioned that as we have been set apart as a missionary with someone holding the priesthood authority, entitles us to speak the words of God! That may seem common sense to you but to me it just clicked that i am really a mouth piece of the Lord now and the words i will say to others is just as grand as the words the prophet speaks out of his mouth haha maybe not to that extend but i realized how influential i can be when i hearken to the spirit!
My time here at the MTC has been incredible and i have loved every moment. Yes there has been some hard times but the good times absolutely out weighs the bad!
I'm truly grateful to Heavenly father that i have this chance to serve him at this very time and i feel a lot more prepared to go out to the mission field and tell all of the people of Syndey North about this great and marvelous church!
I love you all and i am looking forward to hear from you soon!
Sister Valdes xx
P.S I saw the pictures of K. and she looks so pretty! I'm really so excited for her to go out!
Oh and one of my MTC teachers also sends his love to you all hahaha!! He says hi from all the way here in New Zealand!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sister Valdes FIRST Snail mail!!..From the MTC

I always knew Sister Valdés was an old fashion soul and this reassures what I always knew, so this week we got this letter in the mail...Oh another happy day!, to get to hear from her twice in a week was such a treat!...wait! we actually heard three times this week , since President H. from the area presidency was at the MTC on Tuesday visiting with his wife and saw our daughter, he wrote to us on Friday to let us know he saw her :
 " Sister H. and I were pleased on Tuesday of this week to speak to the missionaries in the New Zealand MTC.  While there, we met you lovely daughter.  She had a wonderful, clean countenance, and a beautiful smile.  She was radiant in every way.  She also has a very good companion from Arizona.  So, we convey greetings to you from her"

...That's three times we hear of her!.. by the way it was So kind of him to take the time and let us know we are so grateful!

So here I leave you with Sister valdés' letter:

To my dearest family!

The first couple of days here at the MTC have been amazing so far! however very full on and tiring! we only really have breaks for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the rest of the day is filled with classes and time to study personally and in our companionship.
I feel that I am getting along really well with sister F.! she is from Arizona and guess what? she sings too! her voice is beautiful, she sounds like a Disney princess! for our fireside tonight they asked her to sing a solo piece in the Hymn " As sisters in zion" in which all of us sisters missionaries will also be singing. I our practice, listening to the lyrics and hearing her voice really brought the Spirit into the room filling my heart with a warmth of love from my Heavenly Father, that I am His daughter.
Well you might also be wondering how it is being a coordinator sister and it's actually a lot of FUN! in the mornings we get to have the responsibility of waking the other sisters up at 6.00am. So each morning we have gotten up that little bit earlier to knock on the doors of our sister along the corridor and we get to see their faces of just been woken up! haha! we get a laugh sometimes out of it as some of them look very startled! 
oh! and what I soon have found out too was really how small this MTC is! this intake of missionaries is number 6 so far this year with a total of 48 missionaries at this moment! a lot of them are from the islands such as Tonga, American Samoa, Tahiti, Fiji, Vanuatu and even from Kirabis (I think that's how you spell it) As well as nearly half of this intake are sister missionaries!
I've met one sister who is from Adelaide who will be serving in Auckland and I found out that she knows the L. from our ward specially their daughter A. because she was her TFY leader , she also knows her cousin C.M I thought that was so cool how small this world really is!
I have also met a handful or maybe even more of awesome missionaries who also will be going to the Sydney North Mission! YAY!!! there is Elder H. from Hong kong and Sister T. from Kirabis in my district who will be leaving with me and they both have such humbling spirits about them. Elder H. is also really funny, he reminds me sometimes of a little kid in a grown up persons body because at times he can act very innocent and clueless about things that he does that we think is funny and he too laughs along with us not knowing its because we are laughing at him hahah! but not in a mean way!
What was also funny BUT also very really embarrassing was yesterday when we were playing a "get to know you" game with all the missionaries here!, we got into 2 large circles lined up with elders and sisters, elders and sisters etc...the elders on our left had to ask 2 questions to get to know us then they have to remember the questions then say it out loud in front of our group, this all seems simple and easy enough to do , thinking that no harm could really come from this but then the elder asked me if I had a boyfriend and of course I said no! but then he asked me again to make sure asking " so you didn't leave your boyfriend behind? or you don't have a boyfriend? haha I said no to all of them and he was like ok and asked some other questions which I thought he will share the answers to those questions to the group however when it was his turn to introduce me to the group he stands up and says " this is sister Valdes, she is going to Sydney North and has NO BOYFRIEND! ! hahaha! everyone starting cracking up laughing including me actually the way he said it was embarrassing but also hilarious! 

Another thing is our rooms are not what I expected them to be! I thought that they would be small rooms with communal toilets and showers that we would have to share with all the sisters but our rooms are quite large with bunk beds of course but they also have their own toilets and bathroom! our shower however is not so nice to shower in haha! the drain is clogged up with what I think is hair from other sisters before us (gross!) and so while the water is running the water fills up and to stop the shower form overflowing we have to start and stop the shower to help the drain to clear up!!
I regards to food , it is all very nice! we have had fish and chips, cauliflower cheese , pasta for dinner and they have salad and fruit! they don't have soya milk for breakfast so I have been eating yoghurt these couple of days with fruit and cornflakes.
Sorry my time is up to write but I hope you are all doing well! 
J. keep up your grades and I hope you are helping out with cleaning the house now that J. and I are not home. Oh and how is J.? where is he serving? 
Okay well I love you and write to you again soon! 

Shann Sister valdés 
( I keep on forgetting my name haha!)


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

First P'day at the MTC !!!


Hola Familia!
Already it has been nearly a whole week since I've been at the MTC and it really feels like time is flying by so fast! before i know it i will be in Sydney!!
But before i begin, I just want to ask, did you receive my letter that i sent you. ( apparently she wrote through normal mail?? but we haven't receive it yet! :()
Well to answer your questions:
There are 8 missionaries in my district including myself. There are 2 elder companionship and 2 sister companionship. In the whole mission however there is a total of 48 missionaries! Which is amazing! They are all the missionaries that arrived at the same time that I did :) And few others that are doing the ESL ( English as Second language) classes which are the classes that teach them how to speak english.
With the 3rd question I'm pretty sure that I answered it in the letter I sent you.
About my companion she loves eating Italian food and was working at Desert Book Industries before coming to the MTC. She also had been studying at a peforming arts school as well so she is very much into theatre and singing!
Sunday was amazing!! Just like Sister Pearse mentioned, the mission presidency does assign random people to come up to speak at Sacrament and the fireside we had later tonight and just like her I was one of those missionaries!! I spoke at the fireside and the topic given to us was on the Book of Mormon and I specifically talked about how The Book of Mormon can bring us closer to Christ and to our Heavenly Father. Before hand, I found it difficult to find any spare time to prepare properly for my talk as there is always something going on every little minute of the day! So I was quite nervous and for me I didn't really think I did well with speaking! I was really dissappointeted, words were just coming out of my mouth but all in a jumble! But the good thing is that for next Sunday we were told that anybody could speak again for either Sacrament and the Fireside and it will not just be those that didn't speak last Sunday but it could also be those that have already spoken. SO i'm actually hoping that I will get the chance to speak again to improve. This time our topic will be on The Plan of Salvation.
Besides this I have felt that some of my days so far have been really tough emotionally. Yesterday especially because My companion and I were told off by the Presiden'ts wife for a number of things that we had done such as for laughing to loud in the cafeteris haha and also having the messiest room even though our room wasn't even messy only one little thing was out of place! By the end of the day I felt discouraged but now I have the motivation to do better for the rest of my stay here.
However the missionaries here are  awesome and my teachers are amazing, they have taught me so much so far!! I love them!
We have taught 3 people already and the lessons have gone pretty well
Sadly I have no time to continue writing! We just had a fire alarm go off and my time has been cut short!!! Aaaahhh there is so much that i want to say but next time I'll write more!!
Love you all
Sister Valdes! 
No photos!!! :(

Thursday, 13 March 2014


She is gone!, we took sister valdés to the airport this morning , we got there at 4.30 am had a really easy run on the freeway to get there, there was no cars on the road!, after a while I got worried that perhaps the tunnel was closed and everyone else in Melbourne knew about it except us!!. but we made it in 45 minutes easy!!.

The Air New Zealand counter was closed, and we waited a good 45 minutes for them to open and for Sister valdés to check in.

All went smooth, we had our family come to say good bye, abuela , tata, uncle R., Aunty P. and all the cousins available except M. of course because he is on his mission and brother J. wasn't there either because he is on a two transfer mission in the Melb mission. We dropped him off at the mission home yesterday.

its been a a very emotional few weeks leading up to this day and Mum and dad feel at peace and happy.

Here is her first letter from the MTC she wrote it today soon after arriving at the place, you can see is oozing with excitement!!

Hello my beautiful family!
I'm glad to say that I had a safe flight and I have now arrived here at the MTC. The first thing they give you is your missionary tag so I now have one!!! I'm still thrilled whenever I see it on my chest! Sadly though it doesn't have the the accent on the 'é' in Valdés but I'm still so happy to finally have a missionary tag of my own!

And some other exciting news, my mission president here has just called me as a coordinating sister over my district which is named the Jacob district! I was not expecting that! I have met my companion too, she is from the US and her name is sister F. She is serving here in Auckland. I can't wait to get to meet her properly!

Overall, the weather is beautiful here, I think it is around 24 degrees and while i was arriving here on the plane, I could see how beautiful New Zealand is! (You can tell my favorite word at the moment is 'beautiful' haha!). Funny enough the people who were next to me were really nice and let me sit in the window seat for landing so that I could see new Zealand for the first time! The other missionaries who i met at the airport are also so very nice, 3 from Sydney!! And 3 others from Tahiti! We took pictures at the entrance all together with our tags so i hope to send them to you when i get the chance!

So basically what I'm trying to say here is that I'm all safe and well, everything went smooth at the airport, no problems at all! So don't worry about me! I'll write to you soon! I love you!!!
Lots of love,
Sister Valdés xx