I love you all!!! Thank you for all of the emails!!!
I have a new understanding of the phrase ´´the days are long and the weeks are short´´. We are up for sixteen hours a day working hard, studying, praying, thinking, eating, talking and you feel like you have already put in an entire day of work by noon, but then you realize it is already Thursday. My time here is going to fly by.
Everything is going well here still. I only get homesick if I am stressed out about something that is going on, so I guess that is a good thing. But I get stressed out a lot, so don´t worry. I´m still thinking about all of you. We just started our lessons with our second investigator, and starting tomorrow we will teach two in a day. Clavel and Juan Jose are our new investigators. You will be happy to know that our first investigator is getting baptized on Saturday. Which would be sweet if he wasn´t actually a returned missionary. They surprised us and now Adan is our official Maestro. His real name is Abinadi Soto. Such a sweet first name, hahaha.
Our whole district is freaking about the language... but I´m not.God has definitely blessed me with the ability to know that faith in him and a will to work hard is all it takes. I just keep reminding myself that almost every single missionary who has come to learn a language at the MTC has succeeded so if we follow the rules that are laid out for us, we will learn the language. Faith in Jesus Christ has really helped me recall all the words I have studied in our lessons with the investigators. I can do this. We can do this. But it is horrifying sometimes. All of our sacrament meetings are entirely in Spanish. If you have to give a talk, you just have to hope you wrote it on the right topic and listen really closely for your name so you know when it is your turn to speak.
Our district has been having some problems, unfortunately, One of the companionships is really struggling and it is taking a toll on all of us. Especially because Hermana Chugg and I feel personally responsible to help them love each other. But I want to share a cool story. On the 11th, we were walking back to our casas for the night when I got this strong feeling to go check on the boys in our district. We had just had a powerful discussion about why we decided to serve missions and Elder Haney--who is from North Bend, Washington!-- looked a little discouraged afterwards. So I dragged Hermana Chugg to their casa and caught them all as they were about to go inside. I just approached them as a whole and asked them if everything was okay and they all denied anything was wrong. The next day, after Hermana Chugg had taught our investigator, one of the other Elders came up to me and told me that he thinks that was an inspired message from God telling him that he was supposed to talk to me. He told me that he had some personal stuff he hadn't cleared up at home before he came on his mission and he told me about something really traumatic that had happened to a family member of his since he had left. I was honored he came to me because I was able to help him by sharing a few scriptures I had been studying and even convinced him to clear up his issues with the president or he would never be able to have the spirit in his lessons. Since then, he and I have had a special connection where we are able to pray together and I am constantly finding scriptures that are helpful to him. It feels really good to be serving God´s children already.
Elder Haney and Elder Ririe in our district were just called as the Zone Leaders. Which is funny because now half of our district is in the District leadership meetings on Sunday mornings. Speaking of which, I love being an Hermana Trainer. It is so much fun to encourage the new girls and get to know them. It is less fun to discipline them and tell them to clean their rooms. But whattaya do. Anyway, the other day I was thanking Elder Haney and Elder Ririe for their hard work and for all of the help they give to the struggling companionships, and they said they were grateful that Hermana Chugg and I are the only two people in our district who remind them that it is still important to smile and have a good time. Then they said that they like that we both get so excited when we learn something new in the scriptures and we stand up on our chairs in the middle of study time and say ´´DID YOU GUYS KNOW...´´ (For example, that versiculo en 3 Nefi that says that the mouths of babes were opened and they uttered things that could not be written... like, what?!?!)
I still love it here. The schedule goes as follows...
We wake up at six thirty, get ready and start studying at 7, eat breakfast, go to gym (where I always run, do sit ups, and play volleyball), then we have class, then lunch, then we teach our investigator and have study time, then we go to dinner and either a devotional or we study... more... and then we plan, pray, and go home to study or shower or whatever and we are in bed by 10:30.
I am getting sunburned. Sun screen would have been a good thing to bring. So would lotion, hahah. But I won´t need it in Oklahoma so whatever. I´m also losing weight which doesn't make sense because I swear all we eat is meat. And if the meat looks questionable, I eat Nutella on bread. So... I can´t really connect those dots.
This email is ridiculously long so I will wrap it up by sharing a couple things I learned this week and sharing some photographs...
I have always had a hard time recognizing the difference between the gospel of Christ and the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I guess I figured ´´the church´´ referred to an earthly organization. But it says in 3 Nefi that those who do what the Lord commands of them and are baptized by His power to receive el espiritu santo are called the ´´church of Christ´´. I loved that. I love that the church refers to a group of people. And that I have enough vocabulary that I was able to explain this revelation of mine to my maestra who speaks no English.
´´When we give what we have, we receive what we need.´´
´´It is okay to doubt our own abilities, but it is not okay to doubt the Lord´s abilities.´´
The attached photographs are:
District 12 C...Us!
Myself with my favorite elders and our new zone leaders (the tall one is Elder Haney from North Bend).
The only other person in the CCM going to Oklahoma...Elder Cummings