Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mission Flicks You Won't Want to Miss!

I thought I would post this cute letter that Melissa wrote to her Logandale cousins after they sent her a package. Greg and Carolyn wrote a cute little letter for Christmas that had movie titles that told about the comings and goings of their family this year. This is Melissa's response.

"Sleepless in the CCM" When preparing for a mission, one hermana finds it near impossible to sleep in her room, as a combination of stress, excitement, anticipation, and snoring from her roommates keeps her from sleeping for 6 weeks. Insomniacs everywhere will surely associate with the realistic side affects that plague this hermana, and after watching it, you´ll want to give it "5 stars" and take a nap on a mattress of the same caliber.

"Mission (near) Impossible" Journey to Perú and follow the day to day life of a sister missionary, as she struggles to overcome cultural and language walls between her and everyone else in the country. You´ll need to have tissues nearby to make it through this emotional rollercoaster of a flick, which documents the first 3 months of an 18 month mission. With it´s on and off Spanish subtitles, intense companionship inventories, and long, heartfelt prayers, the whole family will enjoy this heart tugging drama.

"The Pursuit of Happyness" Watch two hermanas become companions in Perú, overcome the initial awkwardness, and then become the best of friends as they work in their area, and in the mission office. Audiences everywhere will be surprised at just how much two Gringas with a purpose can accomplish, and how much fun they can have while doing it. There is a warning for those who do not enjoy cheesy humor, that they might not find this flick just as charming as the two actresses do.

"You´ve Got Mail" A heartwarming story of a missionary, who, days before Christmas is telling her Pensionista the story of "The Christmas Orange" and how much she loves these Chocolate oranges that they have in the United States, and suddenly is filled with more homesickness that she´s had in months. Audiences everywhere will tear up as they listen to her plead with her Father in Heaven to help her not feel so sad about not being home for Christmas. The touching twist of the movie comes the next day, and she is surprised by a package from her cousins in Logandale, filled with candy, a hilarious family letter, and a Christmas orange. Watch as this missionary feels so much love for her family at home, and how the Lord will always send us tender mercies when we ask for them, and how the prayers of a missionary were answered through thoughtful relatives, and a Christmas Orange.

Well, not as good as your letter, but I didn´t have too much time to brainstorm. Thank you so much for your love and support, and I hope that you have a great Christmas!!!

Love, Hna Leavitt

Merry Christmas!

The new year is almost upon us! I can´t believe that 2013 is almost closing it´s pages. Lots of things happened this year. I got my mission call last Feb. I went on a mission in June. But anyways-

How is everyone this week? I hope you´re excited for Christmas, because I sure am! I have just been dying to open up all my presents, but I´ve been a good girl and followed the day to day program. I´ll have to take a picture of the tree you sent when I´m all done. It looks pretty cool right now. And, I suppose I may just be the teensy tiniest excited to talk to you all on Skype on the 25th. Okay.... WAY more excited than that, but I can´t talk too much  more about it or I won´t be able to sleep tonight.

This week we had our mission Christmas devotionals. Pres y Hna Zobrist decided to divide them up into three groups, with about 80 people at each to make it all more manageable. They did a great job, and we got some awesome presents. The first was a Photoshopped picture of each zone with President Nelson. I can´t even describe it to you. I´m sending it home in my next letter, and you´ll see what I mean. Then we also got some chocolate, and some dirt from the temple site. I made some videos that they showed, and it all went great.

Our zone did a little nativity skit that went pretty great, I was Mary. And then afterwards I tied the little baby to my back like all the Peruvians do. Everyone got a kick out of it, and I´ve decided that I´m buying some of those to use when I have my own kids.

Well, we´re going to go to some mission stuff right now with Hna Zobrist, so maybe I´ll finish my letter to you all on Monday, sound good? If not.... I´ll talk to you all on Wednesday!!! I love you all so much!

Hna Leavitt

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Office Work

Buenas tardes todos-

I'm sitting here in the mission office, waiting for this Christmas DVD presentation that I made for the devotionals next week to render, thinking about how lucky I am that I get to use my knowledge and training for things like this in the mission! President had everyone send in pictures of baptisms and rescatados, so that means about 500 pictures to go through in about 3 days, but it was fun. I'm super lucky to be able to do things like that here.

Hmmm, hmmm, hmm, what to say, what to say....

I am having a blast opening all of those Christmas packages every day Mom! You're the best! Usually I don't look forward to waking up at 6:30 too much, but this ongoing activity has actually made me really excited to get up. I guess that's how you solve problems, like not being a morning person- you give someone presents every day. I don't know what I'm going to do on the 26th though. Maybe I'll just save the wrapping paper, and then wrap something up every night, like a pamphlet, and then open it in the morning, just so I'll have something to look forward to.

This week, other than working on helping our Pres and Hna with Christmas things (we're getting an awesome Christmas present this year!) , we also had the chance to really sit down and talk with Junior, and..... it looks like A C will be having a baptism on the 22nd of December! What a great  Christmas present! I love it. :) He's making such good strides in his life, and trying so hard, and I can't wait to see how it all turns out for him. He's too good.

I loved the pictures you sent of the snow! The only snow that we get here, we get at the top of Misti, and then it melts halfway through the day. Jealous.

I'm sending you a picture of me looking surprised that the couches at the hotel we stayed at in Ilo had rocks all over them. They were sooo cool, and I'm making them and selling them for a million dollars when I get home.

Sorry, kind of a boring week to report on, just life in the BEST mission in the world as usual, just a little bit more office work than usual to get all prepared for next week.

One of my best friends in the office has to go home for medical reasons, we got the news from the doctor yesterday, and it was just a sad day. He would always come into where we were working and say "Hermana Leavitt, this letter is for you." and then it wouldn't be, and he would laugh at how excited I would get. But we really did have fun together, and I hope that he can get it all taken care of and come back to the mission. He's from Chile, so it's not too far, but still, never fun to deal with things like that.

Hey, since I work in the office- I get to see that other side of how we actually get packages from parents to the missionaries, and it is seriously a huge process sometimes. The paperwork that is involved sometimes requires that we send the passports to Lima, which is why it is a million times better to send them in the big bubble mailers like you do, because the boxes cause problems, especially when people send a lot of food. So it's not like the mission office gets them and holds onto them, it's really more of a process than you think.

As for Skype calls go- send me all your usernames and whatnot, and times that I can call, and we'll finalize plans next week, ya?

I love you all so much, and am so blessed to be in this family. I see that more and more every single day that I have been out here. I lead a blessed life.

Keep safe, keep the faith,

Hna Leavitt

Christmas Office Picture

With Hna Zobrist and Sis Pug in Tacna last week!

Me & Andy

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Road Trip

Hey- today is Pearl Harbor! Im not sure what year... 1941? Anyways-

This week (yet again) was AWESOME. But more awesome than usual- because on Wed and Thurs, we took a road trip with President and Hna Zobrist to Moquegua, Ilo, and Tacna! We have new insurance, and to put the hospitals and clinics in the system, we had to go visit them, and since Presi had a pregunta 4 to do anyways- we went!

It was amazing! First we went to moquegua and visited the clinic with the ZL there, and then went out to eat at "Mr. Porky´s" which was surprisingly delicious. We also FINALLY finished all the carpetas (binders) and took them to all the missionaries down there and gave them a little run down of what they were. Then we continued on to Ilo. Ilo is beautiful. Ilo is right by the ocean. Ilo is where I´m buying my lot and when  I go on vacation, that´s where I´m going. We stayed on this hotel on the beach, and Pres lets us go out on the beach right as the sun was setting and it was amazing. I´ve got some awesome pictures I´ll have to send in my next letter. Along with the Christmas pictures we took as an office. They´re so funny- But then, we ate in the restaurant at the hotel, and Pres watched "She´s going on a mission" ( because my comp brought up the fact that I was a YouTube star (more or less :)) and then that next day, we studied outside on the porch listening to the waves, and then we went on down to Tacna, which is right above Chile. Everything is cheaper there apparently, and they were all getting ready for Christmas, and we did a quick training on the binders for three zones, and then we went and visited the plaza, got some delicious milkshakes, and then got in the car to head back to Arequipa. It was so much fun! Not only the trip, because, once again, I got the chance to learn so much from my Mission President. I love that man so much! And Hermana Zobrist just as well. I am so blessed, to have the unique opportunity to be around them for a majority of the week. It´s so unique and I know that it´s because I´ve got a lot to learn from them.

As for the office- We finished these binders for everyone and have handed out all the insurance cards, my next project is to put together a mission video for the Christmas devotionals, and then after that, President has a vision of a cool family history project, where I´ll be taking pictures and printing them out for people. I´m his " tech guru" and every time he has an idea for a project, or a newsletter, he always says " Well, we better bring Leavitt in here."

Out of the office- We´ve been teaching Junior for about a month now, hes a friend of a member, and He´s got his baptism scheduled for the 22nd of December, and I know he can be ready. He just has some problems with the word of wisdom, but pray for this 20 year old kid to have the courage to put his past life behind him, will you? I know he can do it, with our prayers and yours.

I love my companion so much- and Mom- you seriously HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK- as far as coolest Christmas packages ever received in the mission goes. I so much look forward to opening my presents every morning. I laughed my head off at the Threat Level Midnight one. Good call. :) I opened my gratitude journal today... and I can´t help but be so grateful for all the support that I have.

Hey. I asked Dad this.... but maybe talk about it as a family too, about if you want to Skype this Christmas, or just a phone call. I know Skype is fun, but sometimes it makes things harder too. Let me know what you want to do and we´ll set it up! :)

I love you all!! The Church is true. I know it is. :)

Hna Leavitt
Ilo, Peru

Tacna, Peru

Monday, December 2, 2013


First of all- and explanation of the picture I think I have more "orgullo" (pride) of in all of my mission-

 A few weeks ago when Hna Pug and I went on that road trip with the coolest mission president in the world, we were driving by a field of cows. In a green field. Eating green alfalfa. Now, I´m not going to say that I should become the next editor for Forage Grower or anything, but I thought to myself  " Self, haven´t you heard something about cows and green alfalfa before?" And although I couldn´t remember specifics, I knew it was weird. So then, President pulls the van over, and then tells me that I need to take a picture of this and send it home- because Ive told him what my Dad does for a living. So anyways, the farmers here put the cows in the fields of green hay, and then they set up electric wires, so that the cows can only eat to a certain point, and then no more, so they don´t explode, and then the  next  day they move it a little farther so they can eat more. I´m sure you've all heard or seen about that, but I don´t know, there was something so LEAVITT about the moment, combined with the picture, thinking about all the picture like this I´ve gotten from Grandpa Leavitt, and I´ve been meaning to send it for these past few weeks, and just finally got it uploaded. SO yeah, anyways-

Thanksgiving was really cool, we had a combined ward mission night with the other ward in our building and we invited a ton of people to come and bring something to share. Hna Pug and I made Monkey Bread! And for the first time, I didn´t have a terrible result from following an American recipe in Perú- and people liked it. But, since (1) not everyone brought something and (2) this is Perù, where its cultural to take as much as you get get, we quickly realized we had to do some forecul portion control., and when it was finally our turn... I think I got some tapioca. But it felt good to serve, and to share an American tradition to bring people together. Kind of Ironic though, Ive never eaten less on my mission than on Thanksgiving. Oh! Also- thanks so much Carolyn for those little leaves you sent! We write what we were grateful for and put them on our door and it was great.

We have been working like busy little bees to get these binders done with. Everyone in the mission is getting one, which meant personalized covers for all 250+missionaries- and since I´m the " master designer" as president says, a lot of this (well, all of it computer wise) has fallen to me. But it was so much fun, to work with InDesign and design covers and make it all look cool. I´ll send you a PDF of it all one day, so you can see what I´ve done. And- my next project- is addressing the Christmas letters! By hand! I basically know all the names of everyone in the mission,since I have now organized insurance cards for everyone, made binder covers for everyone, triples checked the list to make sure everyone has one, and now the cards. But I love it so much. I love being around Pres y Hna Zobrist. They´re so great, and I love my work.

My comp´s mom sent her a pre Christmas package, and she put in a stocking for me, and I appreciated it so much!!! :)

I hope  that you´re all doing well, send me more pictures, and if it makes it, you may or may not all be getting a little something for Christmas. Lets both pray really hard that it gets there, okay?

Spiritually... I mean, I know that I hinted at this at the end of my email last week.... but I can feel things changing. The more I study and read about my Savior, and the plan for all of us... I can almost literally feel that my understanding is being enlightened. I love it so much. So much. I love the Book of Mormon. And surprisingly, I´m starting to love it in Spanish! I don´t know if I can really explain it, but I´m just so grateful to be here right now. I know that I´m here for a purpose. Maybe many purposes that I don´t even know yet. But I am so grateful for my family, and for the niñez that I had, for the opportunity to grow in the Gospel. It´s all apart of something bigger than us all, and I´m so lucky to be a participant right now.

I can´t wait to talk to you on the 25th! Don´t worry, we´ll work out the details over the next few weeks so we don´t miss each other. :)

Keep it up!

Hna Leavitt