Buenas dîas mi familia! I hope you are all doing well. Just want you to know that I think about you daily and that I pray for you morning and night! It's weird to say I've only been here for two weeks... It feels like months.... but it`s been an amazing experience already with lots of ups and downs. I promise this email won`t be as long as last weeks.... haha
|With Hermana's Barney and Despain|
|Mexico City Temple|
So last P-day my district was able to go to the Mexico City temple and do a session completely in Spanish! It was an amazing experience. It was a little intimidating to have to understand and do everything completely in Spanish, but the cool thing is that the church and the ordinances are the same everywhere in the world. The workers were very patient and helped us all along :) Something funny, a native companionship asked the driver if they could go to the temple store and were told that they didn't have enough time. They went anyways... so the mission president gave the bus driver permission to leave them there! So.... they had to catch a cab home! That goes to show how important obedience is here. President said that if it happens once, the word will spread, and no one will ever do it again... haha It was incredible to get to leave our little sanctuary here at the CCM to see how Mexico City really is. The roads were crazy like before. This city is jam packed full of little huts, buildings, cars, and people. I`m not sure what the population here is, but someone was saying that it is around 24 million???? Holy smokes! That's like 8 times as much as the whole state of Utah! It was definitely so much different than home. The other night during our last class of the day, there were what sounded like cannon shots/gunshots every ten minutes or so that kept getting closer. It was so loud and hard to concentrate. This happens frequently. Sometimes it}s fireworks, sometimes it`s not.... But at times it wakes me up in the middle of the night. My teacher, Hermana Powell, was telling us an experience she had with one of the workers here. They were walking and talking and she said, "isn`t this place beautiful? it really is a paradise in the middle of chaos. If Mexico City really wanted to get in here, (which they probably do) these fences and barbed wire wouldn`t keep them out" We are definitely protected and safe here. The Lord protects his servants!
I still love my companions mucho :) and my district too. We are able to focus and feel the spirit, but at the same time we have our doses of laughter and fun. The other day, we were in the bathroom and I heard Hermana Barney burst out laughing. It turns out that she had put on her skirt over her pajama bottoms in the morning and had forgotten to take them off. She went through half of the day without realizing that she was wearing both a skirt AND pajamas at the same time.... haha we could not stop laughing! It`s moments like that that help us to get through the rest of the day. The days here are super long, but the week seems to go by fast. Also, one thing that has been weird to adjust to is that lunch in Mexico = dinner in USA. Their lunch is the biggest meal of the day!
So this past week was a rollercoaster of emotions. I was expecting a mission to be hard, but I wasn`t expecting it to be the degree of difficultness that it has been! One thing that I have noticed is that every little insignificant weakness or insecurity that I had before coming has been magnified 100 times! For example, I`ve always been my own worst critic, and I have a hard time not being super hard on myself while I am here. Even though its hard, I know that the Lord is giving me an opportunity to really better myself and become the person that he wants me to be. I pray every day for opportunities to practice those things that I am weak in. The last lesson with our first investigator went well, she seemed to open up a little bit, but still not much progress. Once it was over, she actually became our night teacher. (Just as a side note, she is SUPER pretty. It`s fun to watch the elders swoon over her... haha) She took our companionship aside and started discussing with us how the experience had gone from the investigators point of view. She told us that as a teacher, she could tell that we had really prepared and that we were really trying out best, but as an investigator, she felt like we were just coming and reciting a rote presentation and that we hadn`t really connected to her. Because of this, she wasn`t progressing. That was really hard for me to hear, and very humbling. I realized that because of the language barrier, we had been focusing so much on making sure that we knew how to say the things we wanted to say, that we weren`t taking the time to get to know her as a person, and teach her specific to her needs. We would try to take some time at the beginning of the lesson to ask her questions and try to get to know her, but eventually it would turn into an awkward silence because we wouldn`t be able to understand her responses as well. So we would just pray and start the lessons. We`ve been able to have a fresh start with two new investigators now, Raquel and Fernando. There`s a lot more to teaching investigators than I thought! I am learning more and more every day different principles of teaching that I can apply and it makes me excited to teach again. The hard part is just translating those skills over to teaching in Spanish. Every lesson seems to go better and better. We`re improving, but it`s a slow process. I`m used to picking things up pretty fast at home, so I`m really getting a taste of what it`s like to really STRUGGLE. A lot of times I find myself getting discouraged and thinking, "if i could just tell you the feelings of my heart in ENGLISH!!!" But one thing that I am trying to remember is that the language of the Spirit is universal. Even if my Spanish is broken and mediocre, if I bear sincere testimony of what I know to be true and invite the Spirit to guide my words, then the Spirit will be able to convey to the investigator the things that they need to feel and hear to become converted.
So something crazy this past week, everyone has been getting sick! We don`t know if it is that water or the food or what, but it has not been fun. It hit Hermana Barney first and then it hit me a few days ago. SUPER bad stomach pains that would almost make you double over. That night, it just exploded in the CCM. A lot of other Hermanas were telling us that it hit them around midnight. Being the nurse that I am, I decided it would be best to go see the doctor. He thinks it`s most likely a parasite.... Glorious!!! Two weeks in!!
He took some "samples..." (haha) from me and Hna Barney and then some anti-parasite pills to hold us over until they get the results back. It will be interesting to see what exactly is going around.
Well - I love you all mucho. I love being here and I`m excited to see where the Lord will take me for this next year and a half! It will be hard I`m sure, but I know that this is where the Lord needs me. I hope you have a fantastic week!
Con todo mi amor,
|The view in front of our Casa|
|Me and Hermana Knight from my ward at home!|
Her mission is Ecuador, Guayaquil West