I only have ONE HOUR so I am going to try so hard to answer everyone's emails and things! It is actually much easier to respond to letters and DEAR ELDERS so you should all send me loooooooots of those and include your address por favor :)
I arrived!! I don't know about you guys... but the drop off was ROUGH for me. Sorry I couldn't really look at your faces. I was going to lose it.
We right away went to our first class. Which was taught COMPLETELY in espanol. It was very very overwhelming... But by the end I could kind of understand a word or too! haha
Then we went to a people and our purpose workshop where investigators came and we all as a newbie group tried to get to know them and answer thir questions. That was when it got real for me. These are REAL people with REAL concerns. I was actually pretty scared at that point!
Then we met out district... unpacked... and went to bed. Fast and hard day!
Day two was SO much better. First we did people and our purpose training part two and learned what our purpose truly is. I sent home a letter talking about this and drew the diagram... well there is one thing I forgot that is very important in it! I drew the line between the missionaries and others as a straight line. This is no bueno! It is supposed to be curved underneath so we are just lifting the others up and helping them come closer to christ. Not just teaching them lessons!! IT was an awesome workshop.
Then we had MTC over with a teacher that served in Costa Rica! We ended up just talking a lot about what it is like there. Our entire disctrict (which is me and my two companeras and a threesome of elders) are all going to Costa Rica except for Elder Workman who is going to panama. We have every class and everything together and we have a lot of fun!!
Gymtime... Lunch... then Hermana Bratt had to go to main campus for the health clinic. I saw SISTER HOLT there!! It was SO nice to see a familiar face and have someone hug me and ask me how I'm doing. Soooo nice.
Then we had more class yada yada met our Branch Presidency it was all great. We are the greatest branch of the MTC!! 149th. There is no number higher. Also we are Disctrict D within that branch and there is no greater disctrict! So we really are the best ;)
Good but hard. We had to wake up at 6 to do service. yikes. Then we taught our FIRST LESSON EN ESPANOL!! IT was acgtually pretty fun though!! We worked very hard to prepare and did our best to teach her. The downside was that we had to read a lot so it didn't seem really like we were letting the spirit in..... It is REALLY hard to understand her. She blends all her words together!!! But she is so cute and so sweet and we love her. More classes... More preparing for our next lesson with her and studying the language...
I got a dear elder from my sweetie Collettie Spaghettie!! I love you sissy!! And I LOVE dear elder. Everyone use it. please. I also got one from Sister REcanzone which was SO nice. Brittany Smart sent me a package with chocolate and carmels!! Sooooo nice. I felt loved. Getting mail is literally the best thing ever.
REALLY hard day. When I woke up at 6:30 I felt quite ill and my allergies are making my throat KILL but all is well. We went straight to class to finish preparing our second lesson with Karina. We thought it went well and she followed up on our commitment to pray and we taught her about the Restoration and she said she'd pray about Joseph Smith!! (this is all in spanish.. by the way) :) But then we started asking the Elders about theres because they took an HOUR and we started to feel reeeeeeeeeeeally down and discouraged. We just didn't know what we were doing or what we were saying or what she was saying or how to improve and all the stress of the MTC just hit me. I felt like I was getting NO instruction and I was just lost and I missed my family and I just wanted to go home. Honestly.... I really did. I miss you guys SO much and it is really rough. So anyways... Saturady was hard. We had been SO obedient and just didn't get why the Elders were having success and we weren't.
We also had two study cycles this day which means an hour of personal study.. an hour of companishoship study... an hour of language study.. TWICE. Just six hours of basically studying on our own. So I got really consumed by my thoughts and my homesickness and I just really struggled...
Also this day we found out that we can ONLY write letters on PDAY so it was another discouraging thing. I really struggle with not being able to just call or text y'all and tell you about the day and what I'm struggling with. So I loved writing you letters... but now I can only write on PDAY. At the time I was REALLY upset... but now that I have studied the white handbook and experienced the difference.... it is SUCH a good thing that I can only write you on PDAYs. Otherwise... ALL I think about is you guys and I get really sad and can't focus on the work.
Also on this day I got a letter from the pages!!!! The boys drew me pictures and I LOVED them!!!!!!!!!!! It was really what I needed that day... except for that I broke down and cried again haha. Also why the rule is that you can't read letters until you get home..... :) Courtney- you were right. I opened the envelope like a mad woman so I am SO grateful for your address. Everyone send me your address!! In a letter or Dear Elder preferably!!! I love you boys!!!
Sunday was the turning point for me in the week and I think for my whole MTC and mission experience. As a companionship we fasted to be able to know what to ask Karina to help her be able to see that the gospel is what will make her happy, for help with the language of course, and to be able to feel happy with and recognize our successes. I personally added to be able to overcome my extremem homesickness and focus on the work.
First we went to Distric Meeting where President shalenberger taught us to counsel together and have comp inventory
Then we went to Mission Conference where we received GREAT counsel about how we all have little mountains blocking our spiritual vision (homesickness) and that we can climb and overcome them.
Then we had sacrament meeting with testimonies. I came to know and feel close to my Zone. I bore my testimony and again had it confirmed to me that I am supposed to be here and that the Lord will help me climb my mountains!!
Then we were interviewed by Brother Dowdle (counselor in Branch Pres) He shared about how the Book of Mormon must be true because of how it was translated in only two and a half months. Though I understood that he was sharing how important the Book of Mormon is, the spirit testified to me that if the Book of Mormon could be translated in two and a half months.. then think of all the Lord can do with me in only 6 weeks!! And then 18 months!!!
then we had comp inventory. My sweet Hermanas told me that they admire so much how my testimony is so internalized and they know everything I say is sincere. They also said they can always count on me to bring the spirit. We grew so much closer and set goals to continue to do so (like to NEVER AGAIN compare us to others and to only say encouraging things and to have a question of the day that we answer to get to know each other before Comp prayer)
Then sunday walk... DELICIOUS break-the-fast dinner with BYU creamery ice cream.
Then Sunday devotional on main campus. It was AWESOME! We were told how the Lord is preparing people for US to teach and we need to exercise faith. He also said that we need to use FACEBOOK to share the gospel... I can't do that but YOU can!! The Lord has given us this technology for a reason!!! Look through your list of FB friends. pray about who may be prepared to hear the gospel and SHARE IT1!!
The VERY best part was that after Devo we watch a film. We watched the Character of Christ by Edler Bednar. This was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. He talked about how the Character of Christ is turning OUTWARD to bless serve and love when the natural man would turn us inward. In the midst of the Savior's deepest anguish and trial, he wasn't focused on himself and what He wanted. "He was focused on OTHERS. He talked about how the Natural man is like the cookie Monster. I want cookie NOW! I want Baptism now!! I want to be with my family NOW! I want to know the language now. I want to be with my family and write them all the time. I want to tak e a nap. I want more instruction. I want I want I want. He said, "WHO CARES WHAT YOU WANT! GET OVER YOURSELVES!! THIS MISSION IS NOT ABOUT YOU. SO FORGET YOURSELVES AND TURN OUTWARDS!" Woooooooooooooooooooow right??? Who cares what I want? Up unti lthen I was feeling so sad and lonely because of the things I wanted. But now.... I know that it truly is NOT about me. So who cares what I want. Looking inward is what makes me discouraged and homesick and sad. NO MORE!! I just need to look OUT!!
Another good day! We decided to start keeping Celestial Time which means we are always at least five minutes early to everyitng. It's awesome So we woke up at 6:25 and went to breakfast at 7:25 and Personal Study Cylcle at 7:55. For language study we do a computer program called TALL which is actually pretty fun. Its the only time we get instructions on how to speak spanish in ENGLISH so I love it.
Then for Gym time we decided to ONLY speak spanish... and sometimes Spanglish... haha it is actually REALLY fun. We were laughing so hard because I just didn't know any words so I make them up. It works.
Then language class with Hermano Bliler (shown in picture by white board)
Then we taught our third lesson with Karina. for the first time... we didn't write down everything we were going to say. We prayed about it and decided that in our past lessons... we weren't giving the spirit and the gift of tongues even the chance to work in us because we were writing things out word for word. It was pretty rought because we just didn't have the words to express what we needed to. And we couldn't understand her. But we were able to bear testimony! We taught about the BOM a bit and then tried to teach about the plan of salvation. B ut it was NOT working. We were trying too hard to go over every detail and not paying attention to her needs. luckily Hermono Meek (our second teacher) was with us acting as a member (he looks SO much like Trace and even acts like him. It's crazy). So he helped a LOT to get us back on track. Overall it went really well. The spirit was REALLY there even though the words weren't. We committed her to read the bom and she said she would! Afterwards... HErmano Meek broke the alll Spanish rule (All the teachers on campus ONLY speak spanish to you ALWAYS) to tell us that he actually thought we did a great job and gave us direction on how to improve.
I got a package from mi mommy today!!! SCOTCHAROOS!! I could not be more grateful. Also a letter from her, daddy, kennedi, Tyson, Clair, and Aunt Mel. Thank you all SOOOOO MUCH FOR WRITING ME!!! I am already running out of email time but if you mail/dear elder me your addresses I will respond to you I PROMISE!! It means SO Much to me to get mail and hear from you all. I love you sooooooo much I can't even express it.
Another great day here at the CCM. Started out rough becaaaaause I woke up at six desperately needed to go to the potty. Well there was no water in the bowl so I flushed it... and then it started OVERFLOWING!! luckily my daddy dear has taught me enough that I knew to push down the rubber thing to stop the water from flowing into the bowl. Well the water was still to the top of the bowl and I REALLY had to go. So I prayed for about half an hour and finally the water went down. so I used it and flushed buuuuuuuut then it started overflowing again. Yikes. Hahaha we ended up laughing about it and got someone to fix it.
Then first class time was personal study cycle. All our studying we do is focused on our investigator. We decided that we need to teach her the doctrine of christ: faith, repentance, baptism, recieving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end. We want to empahsize that the holy ghost can tell her the truth of ALL things (because last lesson we THINK we understood that she wants to know how to make decisions) and then.... commit her to baptism!! Haha we will see how it goes. It's tomorrow.
So for language study we did TALL again and right when we finished this investigator came in and we started chatting with her. We told her we were only on our sixth day here and way bad at spanish. She asked if we wanted to practice with her so we went into a room and just started chatting IN SPANISH. Then somehow... we started talking about the ATonement and then about why we don't have crosses like she does and then I talked about how I was familiar with cathedrals cuz of art history and she asked us to come back and teach her about TEMPLES!! It was so cool because it felt like a real missionary experience.. not one set up by our teacher. It really fueled us up!!
Class dinner... then DEVO!!
The Schwitzers of the seventy talked and really taught us a lot about how to LOVE the people. by the end of our missions we should want to live there because we LOVE the people so much. Awesome.
Now here I am!!!! One week old and doing great. We went to the temple at 7 AM then went to main campus to print all our emails to read because THAT doesn't count as email time. Thank you Katelin for the email!! I love you so much. As I've said... send me your address so I can write you personally.
Then we went to Jamba Juice at Brighams Landing and Burger Supreme. Jamba gives us half off and free oatmeal!!!!! Awesome.
After this we will write letters and do laundry... then we have dinner and our fourth lesson with Karina!
So it started out REALLY rough. I wanted to come home. But I'm okay now! I've worked through that and will keep working hard to turn outwards. I just miss you guys SO Much and I think I'll always be working to overcome that... If you guys just weren't the most incredibly amazingly outstandingly BEST family in the ENTIRE WORLD maybe it would be easier. But it's not sooo :) I love you guys. Don't worry... I'm learning to focus on the work during the week.
PLEASE write me letters or DEAR ELDERS and send me your addresses!! It's so much easier than email. At least at the CCM maybe not in the field.
My companions are AWESOME!! I'm in a trio instead of a twosome and they are great. One is from Rexburg and looks EXACTLY like the main girl from Vampire Diaries... look her up. The other girl is from Provo and is just the sweetest sweetheart. Hermana Kugath and Hermana Bratt. Love em.
The food here is actually really good!! There's always a main course and then LOTS of other options. Like... cereal!! :) And a salad bar and a soup bar and lots and lots of stuff. Usually for lunch we just get a sack lunch after gym time and eat it at our apartment or outside.
Did I mention I am on west campus at Wyview? Where Kelsey lived? It's nice. All of our classes are in Raintree across the street.
My allergies have turned into a bad cold. I have a nasty cough and feel pretty crappy. I take a walatin d every morning and a mucinex d every morning and night.. plus two shots of nasal spray per nostril morning and night..... haha it will be fine. I am calling upon the blessings from my setting apart that I will get over this quickly!! I have been SO obedient!!
Okay you guys I am out of time!! I am going to try to attach pictures from the week. I just cant say enough how much I love you!! This is so hard but I know the Lord is helping me and I'll be able to do it!!!! Don't forget about me!! Write me!!! Send me your addresses!!! I LOVE YOU!!