Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Week One of Missionary Work

Buenas Dias !!!

I promise you with all my heart that I am doing fantastic!!!  Wednesday I cried that night a little, and during church a bit on Sunday because some neat music, but otherwise I feel super comfortable here.  I thought I'd be homesick and worried, and not be able to focus, but I've been fasting and praying for strength for a couple months now, and man has the Lord blessed me!!

First I'll talk about Wednesday when you dropped me off.  My host was good about changing subjects and taking my mind off the fact that I just said goodbye!  I was herded into a building where they handed me a packet with my tags, MTC ID, and a card saying I'm endorsed by the church to proselyte.  Another lady pinned my tag on me for the first time, it's a magnet so it's super easy and doesn't put holes in my shirt.  I have a pin one too, but I never use it. I was then herded into a room where they handed me a huge bag of books, my favorite were the new pair of Spanish scriptures I got.  They are black and I use them a lot during study time.  Then I was put on a bus and driven to West Campus.  Some others hosts took me to my apartment where I dropped off my bags, then followed more hosts to my classroom.  This is where I met Hermana Vargas.  We had a couple orientation meetings, dinner, and more orientation, then bed.

Hermana Vargas and I get a long very well.  She helps me with my Spanish, and only gets frustrated occasionally when I don't understand her cause she talks so fast!!  We have a lot of laughs though and teach together pretty well.    My roommate Hermana Martinez is the funny one!  Yesterday she was talking about white people and I pretended to be offended and she was like "Oh!  I forget that you're white!  I just think of you as a latina!"  I cracked up, but I was super happy!  I'm their "Latinga," (latina and gringo :)

With the bathroom, there's one hotel style bathroom for the 5 people in my apartment.  I usually get up around 6:15 to have the first shower, because even though I  have the shortest hair by far, I still take longer than them!  They just let their hair air dry though.

The food is eh.  Some days I eat everything on my plate.  That was hot dog and pizza day :)  Sometimes I just eat the meat, or the buscuit, or the corn.  Other days I have just cereal.  They have Cinnamon toast crunch and Captain Crunch so I'm lovin' it!  

Today I am super tired, but usually it doesn't bother me at all, and I'm still pretty awake at 10:30 lights out time. I fall asleep pretty fast, but I'm not exhausted.  Sunday I had Sister Training Leader meetings at 6:45 am and had 4 other meetings throughout the day.  It's weird cause I'm the only one in my zone so I was separated from a companion for a while on Sunday, but I like the leadership skills I'm learning.  My hermanas are pretty easy though, and don't cause major problems so it's not too much work :)  Sundays are my favorite I decided.  Sisters get to go to Music and the Spoken word, broadcasted at the chapel on west campus.  Then Relief 
society is broadcast from main campus to our campus.  We sang this super neat song at the beginning.  It was "As Sisters in Zion", but the author of the song made a version for sister missionaries, and I couldn't sing half of it cause tears were choking me.  It talked about us being enlisted in Helaman's army, and the Spirit was super strong as I sang that with probably 2000 other sister missionaries.  Then we had sacrament with the 20 missionaries in our zone.  Super small! Hearing the sacrament prayers in Spanish was neat.  Sunday night devotional is on main campus so we got bused there!  There were a ton of missionaries!  Sheri Dew was the guest speaker, then there are 4 rooms at the main campus MTC where they show different films on Sunday nights.  My district watched the pioneer movie Legacy.   After the movie we took the bus home and had quiet time and bed time.  I usually use my 15 min of quiet time to write in my journal.

Today is P-day, we went to the temple this morning and my comp hadn't done sealings so we took Hermana Martinez with us and did sealings.  After emails we need to go to lunch, do laundry, clean our apartment, and then I for some odd reason joined the MTC choir, so we have to practice before the general authority devotional tonight.  We don't know who it is yet, but Hna Vargas has never seen an apostle so I hope for her sake one comes tonight :)

My district is so fun!  There are eight of us, so 4 companionships.  Elder De La Cruz is from Spain and he is hilarious, his companion is Elder Chacon a native from California, and they always argue about who's culture is better, Mexico or Spain.  We all double over laughing multiple times a day thanks to those two!  Elder Dugan is from Washington and is the only member in his family.  He got baptized 13 months ago.  He's the best example in our group and got called as District Leader.  He's very focused, but also has a sense of humor.  His companion Elder Todd is from Pennsylvania, a white kid who learned spanish in school.  Elder Hanson is from Draper, and Elder Molina is a native from Nebraska.  They are both great missionaries.  I'm the youngest in my district!  Dugan, Todd, and Hanson all went to BYU before their missions.  We have friendly battles quite often :)  Hmn Vargas is 20 a long with a couple of the elders.

I got 2 packages this week!  The Loveridges sent me some snacks and a note, and then my fantastic pillow case.  I'm positive you've told me all of those things before :)  I laughed :)  But I have a ton of stuff to try to repack now....so don't send anything else til I'm in Arizona!  I can't believe I leave on Monday!  4:30 in the morning :/

I love DearElders and letters about everyday stuff.  I like to hear what everyone is doing, funny stories, and such.  They make me smile and feel like I"m not missing as much :)  The transition hasn't been hard, having a funny and friendly district has helped a lot.  

I am eating, I even ate some vegetables!  They were disgusting.  I sleep good, wake up without issues, Spanish is frustrating when I don't know how to form what I know I want to say in English, but I am understanding more and more everyday.  And my speaking and bravery to speak and share my thoughts in another language have grown immensely!  I am unbelievably excited to leave this place!  It's not terrible, but 6 hours of classes, 4 hours of study (which is pretty much class) 4 fake investigators, and 3 hours for meals, one hour for gym....it gets to be repetitive and some days are longer than others.  I'll have to tell  you about my investigators in a snail mail cause I'm running out of time.  

I love you all very much!!  You give me strength every day and I am so happy to be here :)

Hermana Short

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