Thursday, February 28, 2008

Emily MTC Madrid Week 2

Thank you for all of the e-mails they are veer much appreciated. I am not getting near as much mail here as I was in Provo. Dad I tried to take your advice of saving the letters and reading them through out the week, yeah right! I was so excited I read them all as fast as I could and printed them off so I can read them probably 5-10 times during the week. I love hearing from you! I wish I knew what you were doing all the time. Okay stuff I want to tell you about this week...where do I start?

Well first of all every Saturday we go to a park, that is gorgeous and we tract. We fill up our bags with Books and pamphlets and jump on the metro. My comp. of course speaks Spanish so I wasn´t too worried about this little adventure but it was pretty insightful. Most people we talked to of course told us that they are Catholic and uninterested but we did give out two BofM´s. One book we gave to a lady on the way to the park and the other one we gave to a lady in the park. I want to tell you about the lady in the park. My comp. and I walked past her at leat four times and I would look at her everytime but she never looked up. She was reading on a bench and she was kind of in the middle of the path and we were talking more to people on benches closer to the walkway. After passsing her for the fourth time my comp and I stopped at the end of the walkway and she told me that she really felt like there was a women who wanted this book and that we needed to find her. We went up to one more lady and she told us she was Catholic and then we started walking down the same path again. It was strange that we kept walking down the same path because the park is HUGE. As we got closer to the same lady again my comp. and I stopped. I said I think we need to talk to her. She is reading a book and we could say oh you like to read well we want to tell you about this book. It was just like a random thought that I had but I just knew we needed to talk to her. My comp. was really nervous to talk to her but she said okay lets do it. We walked up to her and we said we keep passing by you and we just really felt like we sould come talk to you. We want to talk to you about this book. It was awesome she was really receptive of everything we said and I bore my testimony to her. The spirit was really strong and it was a really neat experience. She is from Barcelona so hopefully Logan will be able to check up on her.

After we track for a little we all gather and sing like 5 hymns. About 20 people stopped to listen and the Spirit again was so strong. Our voices were not very good at all but the message in the hymns combined with the Holy Ghost is what is powerful. Over the last week I have realized very clearly that I got my visa because I needed to come to Spain for Hermana Cachari. We had a really fun week together. I learned A LOT of Spanish from her. She was very lonely because the other girls didn´t ever really talk to her in Spanish and she doesn´t understand that much English. There have been like 3-4 times this week that I would ask her a couple questions and she would talk for an hour or more. She has really needed someone and I know that Heavenly Father really helped my Spanish so that I could help her. The other day her Dad came to bring her some things that she needed. She didn´t have a coat and a couple other things. Well I guess her dad played a joke on her, I still don´t really understand what happened but the box that he brought was full of junk food. She was mad all night because she was leaving the next morning and she didn´t have the things that she needed. That day I prayed for a way to know how to help her. I decided to give her my black coat. Oh the timmer is going to cut me off but I will sign back on... hold on a sec.

So both of us were trying to take a nap and the other girls were being really loud so my comp. woke me up and we went to the other room where my stuff was because there wasn´t enough room in their room. Anyways we were sitting their talking and I was like I need to give her my coat. I took it off the hook of my closet and asked her to try it on. It fit her perfectly so we sat on my bed and talked while I cleaned it up for her. It is so much fun to give to people who really need it. She was so excited and she told me that no one has ever given her a gift like that before. I´m so glad that I had something to give her that would help. Later that day she gave me a pair of bright blue pants and I acted way excited about it. It was nice of her to give me something of hers even though I told her that she didn´t need to. She is a very strong person and I´m glad that I was able to have her as my comp. even though it was only for a week. Its amazing how mindful Heavenly Father is of us, even in little things.

Tuesday this week everyone left minus Elder Fowers and I. Ever since I left Provo I have been with an Elder more than I have a Sister, its really funny. Although I do have a sister comp. I am in class all day with an Elder. There was one day and one night that we didn´t have anyone here and I slept all by myself. I´m not going to lie it was really nice. Elder Fowers and I had dinner and breakfast all by ourselves with President and Sister Hill. I felt like I was with Grandma and Grandpa Gogarty at their table in St. George, I loved it! They told us some great stories, they are amazing people. We just got two new sisters yesterday but one is only going to be here for a couple days. After she leaves there will be Elder Fowers, his new comp. from Portugal, my new comp. Hermana Thompson from Alaska, and me.

The schedule is so nice here and its so quiet. We have class for four hours a day and then we study what we need to during the rest of the time. I´m learing so much Spanish because everything is Spanish. Our teachers teach in Spanish and we talk back to them in Spanish as much as we can. Right now I´m teaching lesson 1 and 2 in Spanish, crazy! This morning we went to the temple. After leaving the MTC it takes about ten steps to be inside the temple. The temple is gorgeous and its amazing to be so close. As I walk to the temple I look for Jess to come popping out of a tree but she never does. Then I look around me and realize that, IM IN SPAIN!

Sister I´m so excited for you. I knew it was going to be a girl because we all guessed it was going to be a boy. When I read your letter which by the way, took 6 days I think and moms only took 5, I started crying. Its okay to cry in front of your comp. if she is a girl but since I´m with an Elder all the time its kind of different. Actually he is a great Elder and we have a good time together. Anyways I tried to picture myself there with you when you found out and seeing the little girl on the screen and just knowing that I was going to love her so much. I already feel such a strong love for her and I don´t even know her. I´ve been having dreams over and over again since I read your letter about the day when I come home. I can picture all of you standing there and the cutest little girl standing in front of Jess. Although I will be messing my pants because I´m so excited to see you guys, I´m sorry but I will have to run to her first because I´ve known you guys my whole life but it will be my first time seeing her and I will need to meet her. I can´t wait!

Being a missionary is so hard to explain. It is so rewarding but so tiring. Everday I get a headache because I´m trying to learn so much and I have to concentrate so much on everything that is being said. The time is already going by so fast because every second there is something to do or learn.

Today the new sisters had class but its my p-day and I needed to go buy a couple things. My teacher went with me, the one that kind of reminds me of Jess. Her name is Hermana Viso and she is having a baby a month after Jess. Anyways we took the bus to the mall and I bought a really cute new coat and we shopped for some other things that I have run out of. It was fun to be out in the city with her. I love this MTC, so different! While I was with her I tried to pretend like it was Jess, Sarah and I shopping together. We talked the whole time and it was nice to just take a break and see some more of Madrid.

Brother I really hope you get your visa. Either way if you get it or not you come here for a couple days to get your visa paper work done. Yesterday I heard that the Elder that works in the office in Barcelona mixed up the paper work for the missionaries, the President and his wife. They aren´t allowed to leave the country and if they do they won´t be allowed back in. They might send them all back to the US! Anyways its a big mess and I feel bad for the Elder who messed it all up. Thats probably one of those things that won´t even be funny in ten years. I guess the reason visas are so hard to get here is because of the terrorist attack. They changed the whole process and they try to be more careful. So they decided to take everything off the computers and its a bunch of paperwork now. When we went to the office to sign some paperwork it was insane how many stacks of paper there were. President said when he checked a couple weeks ago there were 90 missionaries who were waiting for visas but he doesn´t know what its at right now. I´m very blessed to be here right now!

I can´t think of anything else to tell you right now although I know more happened this week. We are for sure going to have to come back here after Logan and I get back. I can´t wait to see northern Spain, I hear its very different from Madrid. I love you guys so much and I wish you weren´t all so awesome because then I wouldn´t miss you. I can´t imagine being here with out the sure feeling I have, that this is where Im suppose to be right now. I can´t imagine not having the experiences that I have had so far in just the first month. Amazing things happen everyday and I´m not even in the field yet.

Heavenly Father loves us sooo much and because He loves us so much he sent us a Savior so that we could have the chance to return to live with Him. That blessings that we are promised if we keep the commandmets are beautiful. I want to help everyone in Spain come to the knowledge of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. But most importantly I want each member of my family whom I love so much to keep the commandments so they can enjoy the blessings that we are promised. Some days are harder than others but we can´t give up. It all works out and makes sense in the end. Heavenly Fathers plan is perfect because He is perfect and I´m so thankful to know that each one of us are literally sons and daughers of God and we can return to Him in Eternal families.

I miss you guys a lot sometimes but I know this is where I´m suppose to be. Keep writing me as much as you can. I´m glad you had a nice time in CA, NO MORE TRIPS UNTIL I GET BACK OKAY! Brother if you have any questions or concerns, please write me! Oh ya Mom I talked about you in R.S. on Sunday. Sister Taylor the doctor´s wife and Sister Hill both want to meet you and they said they hope their daughters talk about you the same way I talk about you. We were suppose to share an experience with RS. I told about you and how visiting teaching isn´t it for you. You serve everyone one you meet and your not afraid to help anyone with anything. Dad thank you for loving her and choosing her to be your wife. Thank you for being a worthy Priesthood holder. Thank you for teaching us the gospel and helping us find our testimonies. You are both such amazing people and I´m glad you have each other. Okay I guess I better go, oh I love you guys so much!love, Em (Sister Gogarty)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Emily - Madrid MTC 1st P-day

Ok how do I even start to explain the last couple of days. Right now it is Thursday and my p-day is almost over and you guys are just waking up. I still haven´t gotten use to the time change, but hopefully soon. My first night here Presiden Hill let us go to bed really early and I slept through the whole night because I didn´t sleep on the plane at all. But last night I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and I was totally ready to start the day. I laid in bed for who knows how long with a bunch of Spanish tumbling through my head. I think I fell back asleep later but I am definately very tired today.

Yesterday was just a normal day in the Madrid MTC. I am in a district with one other Elder and its actually the Elder that was in my district in Provo. He has been in class all by himself until I got here. We have two teachers and both teach for two hours each day. A day here learning Spanish equals three weeks in Provo. I have already learned so much. Oh ya in between classes we went to the police station to finish taking care of our visa paper work. There were hundreds of people lined up but the Hermano that took us to the station knows someone that works there so we went right in. We already stick out quite a bit and then we cut in front of hundreds of people. Lets just say we didn´t get the best looks from the people. The people that were in the line were from all over, Spain is very diverse.

Today we went to the temple which by the way, is gorgeous. The session was in English but there were people there from all over. Before the session started everything was announed in English, Spanish and French. A lot of people come from far away to get to this temple. After the temple we went to the Prada and spent about an hour and a half looking around. Then we went to a sword shop and everyone bought a bunch of trinkets(in other words crap). Dad you might want to erase that before you post this message. But I thought you would enjoy that little side note. Eveyrone was trying to firgure out why I wasn´t buying anything and I really just wanted to say because I don´t like to spend my money on little pieces of crap but I refrained. The store was just full of cheap touristy stuff that all of the dumb American tourists buy. Okay I just had to get that out there, you can erase that if you want.

After the store we came back for a huge lunch. We never eat vegtables! Today for lunch we had a huge bowl of rice with peas, shrimp and ham in it, that was just a side. We also had chicken and french fries with chocolate bread for dessert. The cooks make the plates up for you and everything on my tray at lunch today probably could have fed all of the children in Africa. The cooks are really nice and actually everyone here is so nice. I love President and Sister Hill, they are such good people. Everything is so relaxed and everyone is late to everything. I thought that was just part of the culture in Mexico but I am always the first one to everything even if I come 5 minutes late.

Now most importantly I want to tell you about my amazing companion. She is from Bolivia which I think I said in the last e-mail. Right before I ate dinner yesterday I prayed that I would be able to communicate with my comp. and get to know her better. I think she feels a little loney here because the other two sisters that have been here with her don´t speak Spanish very well. So after dinner I was just looking out the windown waiting for her to come out of the cafeteria and she came and stood next to me. We just started talking and before I knew it we were having a converstaion about everything. There were a few words that I didn´t understand but I knew exactly what she was talking about. It was amazing and she is amazing! Anyways she kind of has a crazy story. Her parents are divorced and her Dad ran off with a girlfriend. She only has one sister and she is kind of active in the church but she got married to a non-member. Her mom is active in the church though. She decided that she wanted to go on a mission when she was 12 and then she got her Patriarchal Blessing when she was 16 and from that she knew that she needed to go. So for a little less than a year before her mission she moved to Madrid and lived by herself while working two jobs to earn money for her mission. She is paying for it all. I told her that she is an example to me. We have had a good time together. I can´t always understand exactly what she is saying but for the most part I can figure it all out and even talk back.

The other sisters asked me why I came to the MTC because they think I already speak Spanish. Heavenly Father is helping me a lot, its really neat. I still have a lot to learn and I can´t wait until I´m fluent. All three sisters leave on Monday for the field and all the Elders except the Elder in my district. So far President Hill has only told me about 5 missionaries that are coming. Four of them are sisters and all five speak Portugese. Thats going to be interesting. I thought I was the minority in the Provo MTC, I can´t wait till next week.

I´m still praying for Hermana Nickolaisen´s visa, she would love it here. Where we live the view is gorgeous and the tempature is perfect. I think today it was sunny and about 60 degrees. I still can´t believe that I´m a sister missionary in Spain and who knows when I will be able to start believing it. I only got whistled at a couple times today and only two men told me in English that I was a gorgeous lady. It was actually pretty funny! I definatley feel differnet from the first time I was here. As a sister missionary I have this confidence from the Holy Ghost. Strangely enough I don´t feel scared and its actually really nice to be here. Its ten times more beautiful here than in Provo.

Okay well I can´t think of anything else to say hopefully I remembered everything! If you can think of any questions let me know. If you want to I would love for you to e-mail me while I´m in the MTC. We get double time on the internet here. Everyone in the family can write me by e-mail because I can just print your letters off and then write you back. I love you all so much and I miss you muchisimo! Let me know everything thats going on. Oh ya I found out that it takes about 7-10 days for mail. Also, I think I´m here for four weeks. Love, EM-Hermana Gogarty

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Emily - Week 1, MTC Madrid

So after many hours of traveling I am finally here. It was a long day or how ever long it was, but its over. I loved talking to you, even though it was hard to say goodbye.

The flight to Spain was pretty bumpy and so I couldn´t sleep. So Elder Harris and I talked a lot of the way. We also ran into another Elder on the plane who served in the colorado springs mission for two weeks while waiting for his visa. So three of us ended up here today, right now it is 3:47 on tuesday. I can´t even function I am so tired. President Hill let us take a little nap after unpacking and it was so nice. President and Sister Hill have been here for two weeks and they are wonderful, I can already tell. I feel so comfortable here already, i just need some sleep.
Right outside my window, I can see the temple and its beautiful. This MTC is amazing. It is so quiet and personal. I already love my teacher. She is from Spain and her husband is from Ecuador and she is having her first baby about the same time as Jess. I can tell we are going to get along really well, she is way sweet.

Today it is a little bit rainy here and its about 50 degrees. We live in a high red brick building and the top floors are the MTC. The bottom floors are hostels for those working in the temple. This MTC is beautiful compared to the MTC in Provo. Everything is very clean and nice and I can´t wait to go to sleep in my bed. The sisters made it for me before I came so I could take a nap. There are three other sisters here right now. One is from Bolivia and she is my companion. We have said about two words to each other. The only common language we have is Spanish so we will probably never get to know each other. The other two sisters are from the U.S. and they are very nice. But all three of them finish and leave in a week. So if no sisters come in a week then I will be the only sister here. I hope and pray my comp. gets here visa. I want her to come here, she would love it. You should print this and send it to her.

We already ate lunch and it was really good but I couldn´t really eat it because my stomach is a little bit weird right now. But the cooks are really nice and I can tell I´m going to really like the food here. It doesn´t even feel like I´m at an MTC. Its more like a big home, I think there are 15 of us here all together.
I can´t believe that I´m here as a sister missionary. It was so weird to walk around the same airport and realize that I am in Spain again.
I don´t know what my p-day is, they just wanted us to write and let you know that we are here.

Brother I hope you get your visa so that you can come here. Okay well my time is running out. I loved talking with you and I hope you have a wonderful time in CA.
Spanish is going to come a lot faster here. I love you guys so much!
EM-Hermana Gogarty

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Emily - Week 4 MTC

Hey guess what you guys are already starting to forget about me again. I'm going to have to make up a bunch of lies. I don't even know what to talk about because after writing in my journal and writing letters I feel like I am saying the same things over and over again. Plus everything just seems mushed together here.

Jess it was so fun to see you. Its suprisingly not super hard on me to see you once a week. Im starting to look forward to it every week and maybe it will realize when Im in Spain that I can't see you anymore and then it will be hard. You and Nick look so happy and it was fun to rub your belly. Sunday was a beautiful day and I loved being outside in the sun.

Sister Sarah, I guess your back in Pueblo now. Let me know as soon as you find you how you did on your test. I bet you got an A+++++! I can't believe that we are moved into a new house and that we live in Pueblo now. Anyways keep writing me your thoughts. I love how much the girls in the family write me! I will take note of that and remember that forever. Brother its getting pretty close! I think that if I stay here for the whole 9 weeks like I think Im going to, I will probably leave the day before you get here, how LAME! I'm excited for you to get here! Oh if you can find it, I want you to listen to this talk called "The Miracle of A Mission" by Jeffrey R. Holland its really good.

Coby, I hope you got my birthday card in the mail. Sorry it was all in pencil and it looked like a four year old drew it but I didn't have anything else. Write me and let me know how your doing! I hope you had a wonderful b-day. Mom and Dad I love you so much.

Yesterday in a devotional we sang the song We'll Bring the World His Truth and I love the part where it says "We have been born as Nephi of old to goodly parents who love the lord." I'm so thankful for all the things you have taught me and for helping me become who I am. Our family is wonderful and I just can't describe how much I love each one of you and how thankful I am to be a part of our eternal family.

So I have a pretty good story to tell you. The MTC is such a funny place. There are 2,000 19 year old boys and 200, 21 year old girls locked up in this little area for weeks and so there is always a good story to tell. I wish I could tell them all.Since the first day I got here my companion and I were talking about how funny it would be to see someone jump the fence. Well yesterday this sister missionary walked pretty quickly past us out the door of the building we eat in and my comp. actually knows her so it was kind of weird that she didn't say anything to her. But the weirdest part is that she was by herself. Well we decided to keep watching her and see what in the world was going on. She kept walking down the sidewalk and then took a quick left and headed off campus. Then we watched her as she booked it down the main road that runs in front of the MTC in her miss. clothes with her tag on and everything. My comp. and I were like is this really happening we should have never wished to see this. Well we decided to go to the front desk and tell them what was going on because I was worried about her companion. Well they went after her and didn't catch her. So they paged her comp. to come to the front desk to see what was going on. About 20 minutes later her and her comp. came walking up to the front desk. I guess she just forgot to close her bank account and she suddenly remembered and decided to take care of it.

When my comp. goes to the bathroom I have to wait in the hall for her. I can't stay in the classroom which is right across the hall from the bathroom. I can' t seem to figure out this girls thought process but I wish I could because I could sure use a little run down the street every once in a while. Anyways it was pretty funny! My comp and I got as close to our wish as I think were going to get, hopefully! Today we went to the temple and it was really nice to have it so quiet. After the session was over my comp. and I just sat together and talked.I learn so much from her. She really helps me in all the ways that I want to be better. I appreciate her so much, we just fit really well together, its a huge blessing. Our families are a lot alike, its crazy. She knows exactly what I'm talking about when I try to explain things.

Teaching lesson two went pretty well. There is so much to learn and I'm excited to keep learning. I've realized that as I've been studying the gospel everyday, how truly blessed we are to have the truth. I finally finished memorizing the first vision in Spanish. Hopefully if I get to call you in the airport when I fly out I can recite it to you. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and I'm so thankful to know that I'm a daughter of God. Some days are harder than others here but I know that I can always pray to my Heavenly Father and He will listen to me.

I love you guys so much and I think about you a lot. But I know this is where I'm suppose to be, thank you for helping me get here!
love,em (hermana Gogarty)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Emily - Week 3 MTC

Ok so most of you have probably already heard that I didn't get my visa. Jess has probably started a phone tree letting everyone know the news. I was really sad when I found out we weren't leaving. Two Elders in my branch who have been waiting nine weeks got theirs and then an Elder that came with us got his. The two Elders that have been here for nine weeks were actually reassinged to AZ but then the next day they got their visas, it was crazy. I guess its just the pick of the draw because the Elder in our district who has been here the same amount of time is leaving with them. We just wait at least nine weeks and then if we never hear anything we get reassigned.....ahhhhhh! I really want to go to Spain!

They are fixing things in the building that I first moved into and so all of the girls from that building got moved into another building. It use to be just my comp. and I in a room which was really nice and now it is us plus four other girls in a boys apartment. They pretty much just stacked three bunk beds up on top of each other and nailed three little mirrors into the wall! The bathroom we are using is a mens bathroom and there are usually about 10-15 girls waiting for showers, sinks and bathrooms no matter what time of day it is. I am usually in a pretty good mood until I walk into the bathroom and see 500 girls running around screaming waiting. Usually we have to wait to use a sink after we go to the bathroom. Oh ya and another great thing about our new room is that its right by the vending machine and so there are always a million girls in front of our room stuffing their faces and yelling at the top of their lungs because of a sugar high. I really enjoyed my old room with just my comp. and I but I will adjust to our new room once I take out a few girls!(maybe you shouldn't post this e-mail on the blog) No I am kidding its really not that bad but it is a change.

Oh here is a great story that will really help you see what it is like to be in a buildking with 200 girls. Last night I got really mad at my roommates because I thought their alarm clocks were going off. But actually it was the fire alarm at 11:00 at night. Everyone should be in bed with the lights out. Everyone ran out of the building in their pjs and we all stayed in the gym for an hour waiting to hear what happened. As I was walking quite calmly like Dad taught me to be in an emergency I hear girls tumbling down the stairs screaming for the companions and crying. While I was joking around about it probably being a burnt bag of popcorn! Guess what I was right. Some girls were up past their bed time and they burnt a bag of popcorn and tried to hide it. It was hilarious!

The other day my comp. and I decided to teach lesson 1 in the TEC for practice before we did our last appt. in the TRC. We had kind of had a bad day and I kind of had the attitude of lets just go in their and get it over with. We had gotten really good at teaching lessong 1 and our teacher actually asked us to teach our district lesson 1 as an example. So anyways we went in with kind of the wrong attitude and we fumbled through the whole lesson, it was horrible. The Spirit wasn't a part of the lesson at all. The next day we tried to pull things together and figure out what it was that we needed to change before we taught lesson 1 for the last time in the TRC. Just a reminder the TRC is where fake investigators come in and you teach them while your teacher critiques you. So we read and studied about teaching with Spirt and tried to change our approach. The lesson was amazing I felt like we were teaching a totally different lesson. We have been practing memorizing Joseph Smith's first vision and I really wanted to recite it in this lesson for practice it would be the first time trying to do it with out any notes. The first couple of words I felt a little shaky and then they just fell out of mouth and it wasn't even coming from memorization, I didn't even have to think about what I was saying. As I was reciting the first vision the room turned white and there was this focus on just the investigator. I don't even know how to explain it but it was amazing. The power behind those words is really amazing. I guess I always knew that Joseph was a Prophet because I knew the Book of Mormon was true but through studying lesson 1 of PMG I have gained such a strong testimony of what happened to that boy in 1820. He really did see God and Jesus Christ and we are so blessed to have the truth, its wonderful. I love the first lesson, its all about how much God loves us. Today we teach the first part of lesson 2. We will see how it goes, I am a little nervous but of course that is how I felt about teaching lesson 1 at first too.

My comp. kind of reminds me of Jessica its really funny. When we go in to teach she wants to follow the lesson plan exactly and she has an exact outline that she follows and she usually never strays from it. I on the other hand go in their with a little bit of an outline but not all the way pulled together. But she has such an amazing mind she knows so much and she knows exactly where to go to the scriptures for answeres. I feel like exactly what I wanted to learn to be a better miss. she has and what she wants I feel I have. We are teaching each other so much. I have helped her stray from her lesson plan and she has helped me learn the scriptures. Its been an amzaing companionship!

I loved seeing you Jess, you look so cute! I love you all so mcuh and I think about you all the time. We are so blessed and Im so glad that I have you all for eternity.Ok really quickly I am going to try and answer a few questions but I only have a couple minutes.Brother I asked the Elders if they wished they would have brought anyting and the only thing they could come up with was sandals for the shower and an electric razor. Really you don't need to much just missionary clothes. Im so excited for you to get here. This really is a special place. I love you so much your going to be amazing you have prepared yourself so well.Okay my time is almost up I was going to try and answer more questions, oh well. I love you guys I better get lots of letters this week!

love, Emily (Hermana Gogarty)