Hola my familia y amigas!!!
Man... Have I ever been so excited for P DAY!!!! I feel like I have been waiting an eternity to write home! The MTC is great! I am in District A in Branch 112! We have 5 elders and 4 hermanas in our district. Hermana Torres is my companion. She is from Aurora, Colorado and we are both going to Denver south! We live in an apartment on West campus with the other two hermanas in my district- hermana servin and hermana reina. I love them SO much and absolutely love my district. Every person in my district is a native except for me. #whitegirlgringaprobs BUT they are all SO kind and are so sweet to me. They understand that I am obviously not fluent and are always helping me when I speak. The other hermanas and i have gotten soooo close and we feel as though our whole district has known each other forever. SOOOO... the first day we got here I got my tag and met my district. The whole drinking from a fire hose analogy is SO true. I was SO overwhlemed and understood barely anything that was being said because it was all in FAST, fluent, crazy insanely accented spanish. Our teachers names are Hermano Stevenson and Hermano Rock. They served in Arizona and Alabama.
So a cool experience that happened that first night. We went to a class called "People and your purpose" where you sit in a room with a ton of missionaries (prob about 50) and there in an investigator at the front that you talk with and then you all respond to his questions and take part in a big group discussion. It was pretty cool. We met with three investigators. I am going to tell you about Hely. Hely was the second investigator that we talked to. She told us about her job with the elderly. She works in a lot of rehab facilities. She told us about how there was this one man in the rehab facility who had been in a car accident and was completely paralyzed from the neck down and was pretty much a vegetable. She was telling us that she didn't think it was fair that the workers at the facility just moved him without his permission and just took control of his life without any input from her. She told us that she thought it was just so unfair to him that he had to be in this situation and that she didn't understand why God would make that happen. As she was talking I felt impressed to share with her about my accident. I raised my hand and told all about my accident and about how even though I was righteous, I still had something bad happen to me. (We were talking in english so I was able to go into a lot of detail). She was so engrossed in my story but since we were in a group setting I couldn’t talk for too long. But afterwards I went up and talked to her and she is just so sweet. She was just crying and hugging me and thanking me for sharing my story. So that was a really great redeeming moment in a SUPER hard day.
We had a welcome from the mission presidency the first night and a quote that sister Nally said that pretty much sums up my first few days and week is "Little growth occurs in a comfort zone... and there is little comfort in a growth zone!" I have felt SO inadequate here my first few days. Thursday was okay but day 1 and day 3 were definitely the hardest. I was SO discouraged about my spanish on those days because I kept comparing myself to the natives. I had to remember that I am not a native and that I am still learning. But I have been improving so much and my spanish has been great. I am learning so quickly and Elder Ruiz who is in my district and speaks very little english (I teach him english and he teaches me spanish lol) told me that my spanish is great and that I will be the best gringa sister missionary ever. haha! He is so great (he is our district leader).
Thursday was great. nothing too eventful. Then on friday was 4th of july! Although it was my most discouraging day in spanish, it was great because the night was fun. I have definitely experienced so many highs and lows while being in the field! It is insane and the MTC is SO HARD. I am really ready to just get into the field. I have struggled quite a bit and am SO TIRED all the time. The schedule here is so rigorous... we just never stop. But anyways, after my short pity party about how discouraged I felt about my spanish, I decided to change my attitude and just be happy. Later that day Hna. Torres y yo taught a lesson to our "investigator-fabian" (really hno. stevenson). We have taught about 6 lessons to our "investigators” now and I have noticed that my spanish is best when I am teaching because we have the spirit. I love hna. torres. She is so great and is an awesome teacher! I am so grateful for a native companion because she leads the lesson and keeps it flowing. I get a little frustrated sometimes because I am a perfectionist and feel that I am not as effective a missionary as I could be, but I know that God is humbling me and that I will continue to learn. So anyway... Friday night we got out of class early and got to watch a devotional broadcasted from main campus and then....WE GOT TO WATCH 17 MIRACLES!!! It was great!! Then afterwards we went outside and they gave us magnum ice cream bars and we got to watch the fireworks! It was so great! So that was awesome.
Sunday was fast sunday and our district decided to do a 24 hour fast! It was suuuuper hard but I knew that if I wanted to improve my spanish, a fast was necessary. Sunday was GREAT! We had mission conference then had sacrament meeting in our branch. It was so great to be able to take the sacrament and listen to the testimonies (even tho they are all in spanish - I understand almost everything people say, except for the ones that have thick accents) So that was awesome. AND I bore my testimony! I talked for half in english and just said that I had realized how mindful my heavenly father is of me and that I know I am here, in an all-spanish/native branch for a reason. Everyone is so nice and understands that I don't know everything yet. Then I finished with my testimony in spanish and the hermanas said that it was perfect. I love the gospel and the influence of the spirit so much.
|I love my district!|
AFTER our TRC, we walked outside and who should be there but Hely and her husband Jose. We started talking to her and hna. torres told her about how she had a problem with her liver and how her mom had to donate... etc ( I don't know all the details... it was all in spanish haha they talk so fast). SO... we kept talking and then Hna. Servin and Hna. Reina came out and the four of us were talking. Apparently, Jose's mom had the same health problem as Hna. Torres and they have given her a 2% chance of surviving and she lives and is 94! It was a way cool story and long story short- Jose and Hely (who we are almost positive aren't members) think it is because of God but also because of the medicine. It was way cooler and such an awesome experience than I am making it sound... BUT THEN Hely told us that she wanted to talk to ME and hear all about my accident and THEY asked US to set up an appointment to talk with them and teach them! Like a real lesson, not a TRC!!! WOAHHH!!! We were freaking out!!!!! We’re so excited- so I am already getting the opportunity to share about my accident and it has already influenced people and i'm not even out of the MTC. It was so cool. We are teaching them on thursday during our companionship study time.. I am SO grateful for my accident. It really has just completely changed my life and is such a great teaching tool.
Wow, I am basically out of time- I wish I could tell you more... but that is the gist! The MTC is tough. Really tough. But I am enduring. This time next week I will be in the field!!! AHhh I can't wait!
Food isn't bad here... not as bad as the cannon center but not my mom's food ;) (Miss you mom haha). But I LOVE the dear elders!!!! Keep em coming! Seriously it is the best thing ever! SO THANK YOU TO my mom, dad, sister, and stacey for writing me dear elders :) They are great when I am in the MTC because I have so little time to email.
BUT anyways... I am loving my mission, i like the mtc... love my district! I will be sad to leave them. We have another elder (Elder Cabas) in my district that is going to CDS along with me and hna. torres.
|The Colorado Denver South missionaries|
I love you all so much!!!
Can't wait to hear from you!!! Thanks for the prayers and love!!!
Next letter from me... WILL BE FROM COLORADO!!! EEEK!!!
I love being a missionary!
ps: sorry this is all over the place. I am trying to write so fast!! and sorry if some of it is in spanish lol.