First off......HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA AND BRANDON!!!!! I LOVE YOU BOTH SO MUCH AND I'M THINKING ABOUT YOU ALL DAY TODAY!! I HOPE YOUR DAY IS AMAZING!!!!!!
I cannot believe I have been out here for 3 weeks already!!! I'm halfway done with the CCM!! Three weeks sounds pathetic compared to 18 months, but still....time is flying!!!
Funny stories - Okay I have 4 really quick funny stories. 1) I got a package with makings for a PB and J sandwiches and two elders in my district were super jealous. So after the evening class was over Hermana Kivett and I ran to our house, made them sandwiches, and met at the rendezvous point since we couldn't go near each other's houses. We met them really fast, exchanged sandwiches, and ran back home to make it to curfew. It was so funny!! i wish you could've been there to actually see it, because it was funny. Just picture missionaries exchanging sandwiches in front of the store at 9:30. It was great! 2) I am officially the package/letter queen. Me and one other Hermana from another district get TONS of mail. The elders have a bet going as to who will receive the most mail at the CCM. Yeah, the elders who are betting for me are totally winning! 3) So since our district plays volleyball a lot with the other district, we have names for each team and everyone on our team. Elder Jones is Jelly, Elder Pogroszweski is Plunger, I am Hecho Berries, Hermana Kivett is Half Kimchi, Elder Sellars is Snake poison. It's the bomb. We named our team Esta muerto. (You're dead) Yeah, we're cool. 4) Hermano Romero decided he wanted us to try Mexican candy so he brought some. And let me just say - blech!!! The inside is amazing, but apparently Mexicans need to make everything spicy. It was a delicious gummy bear type thing with chili peppers coating it. Ew. I have no words for this gross candy.
Spanish - So a lot of people have asked how my Spanish is going, so I'll give an update. I can teach lessons without notes. I write a few words down just in case I get stuck. I can give talks, say prayers, share my testimony, and give a spiritual thought. I know pretty much all the tenses, but I have to think really hard when I'm conjugating, so that's slow. I've memorized the First Vision, and the objective, and I'm working on D & C 4. I have SO MUCH MORE TO LEARN. This language barrier is driving me crazy!!! I wish I knew more. It's a slow process, but I'll get there with faith and study.
TRC - We do this thing every Saturday called TRC. It's where less actives, or members volunteer to come to the CCM so we can teach them. The first girl we taught was totally a member, and wasn't even pretending to be an investigator. She wanted to hear our testimonies, and then we talked to her about how awesome a mission is because she's been thinking of going. Then the second guy we taught was trying to ask us questions so we would talk more about the church. It was fun. It was good to try and explain without feeling like you need to follow a solid lesson plan. TRC was one of my most favorite experiences this week. It taught me so much! They complimented our Spanish, and that was wonderful. Sometimes we need a pick me up to feel like we are actually progressing. But it was SO FUN!!!
Latinos - Okay, I love the latino missionaries. They are only here for 2 weeks, so we have seen all our friends go. We become so close with all of them, and then we need to say goodbye!!!! It's soooo sad!! But then we get to make new friends every Monday! I just love it here. Have I ever said that? :)
Musical number - I did sing in church this last Sunday. I sang How Great Thou Art (Grande eres Tu) and Hermana Kivett practiced really hard all week so she could play. I was glad I had the opportunity to sing. I love the words to that song, and I was teary just singing it. I love sharing my testimony through music. Next week I get to play A Child's Prayer for all the Hermanas in the Branch to sing. Oh how I love Sunday!!
Devotional - Okay. This should've gone in the funny story category. I fell asleep during a devotional, and I was in the aisle. Apparently I had completely fallen over into the aisle and all the elders kept telling me I was snoring. I have NEVER snored!!! I think they just say it because they find it amusing to tease me. I wasn't snoring, but I was sleeping :/
Movies - We get to watch a movie every Sunday night. We've seen the Restoration (my personal favorite) Legacy, some really old movie about the Book of Mormon, and the Testaments. So, Sunday really is the best day. I really want to see Prince of Egypt, but I don't think they'd show that one. Oh well. Being a missionary means missing out on movies.
COMEDOR!!! They finally opened the new comedor!!! It's absolutely gorgeous. It looks just like a huge buffet place at like Vegas!! I seriously love the workers there. Alejandro taught Hermana Kivett and I 3 new words this week. Tray, dressing, and dessert. I just have so much to look forward to every single day!!!!
Weather - When I first got here it consistently rained everyday at 4 pm. Always. Then the second week it was BLAZING hot. I got terribly sunburned on my arms yesterday from playing volleyball for 40 minutes! only 40! The sun is intense!! At least now I look like I've been in Mexico ;)
Wonderful experiences - I am going to end this letter with my two most amazing experiences this week. 1) We are teaching Hermano Romero at night. We taught him this one lesson about the Atonement. It was beautiful. All three of us were crying. He agreed to say the closing prayer and I understood every word!!! It was so beautiful. Even though Jose is playing an investigator he's portraying a real person he taught on his mission. It's amazing to see someone change, and come to know the spirit. I can't wait to see it for real for myself!!! 2) Bear with me on this one. Okay, so we were playing volleyball and I'm not very good at all. I try, but my district loves me despite my poor skills. So, one of the elders from the new district in our branch decided to be a jerk. Not to go into detail or put him down, let's just say it was over the line, and everyone knew it. He bullied me relentlessly. I have never felt so awful about myself in my entire life. The elders in my district said they would've beaten him up if we weren't missionaries. Anyway, the elders from the other district pulled me outside during my study to make sure I was okay. They all went and talked to the elder. I seriously have 8 older brothers looking out for me. Elder Jones and Elder Pogroszewski bought me chocolate from the tienda. The other elder apologized to me, and now we are BEST FRIENDS. I learned from this experience that I am being watched over. I have people here protecting me, and loving me. I have no hard feelings toward the other elder. It's amazing how much love you are capable of as a misisonary. it was a great experience.
I love you all so much. I love being a missionary. I love the hard times, and I love the good times. I feel your prayers, and your support. Thank you for being the best family in the whole world.