My dearest familia and amigos!!
SURPRISE! They let us email today even though we all thought we wouldn´t be able to this week. I´m sorry it´s been crazy this week with my schedule, but my normal pday is tuesday. It's just all messed up cause of Christmas!
Okay, okay where do I start... there is so much to tell you. And so much I want you to know! First of all, I love you. I miss you all so much. It was weird having you all drive away and knowing that I´´d be on my own for the next 18 months. But, my host missionary took me to my room and to the bookstore to get my Espanol El Libro de Mormon y mi Espanol Predicad Mi Evangelio. Then I went to class. Seriously, I was in class within 30 minutes of being there. My class is really great. There´s only 8 of us. 4 Elders y 4 Sisters. The class room is probably the size of the Laundry room.... maybe smaller. But I love it. We have a window and it overlooks the temple, so that is really nice! Mi maestro es amazing. He´´s from Chiclayo Peru and speaks perfect Espanol y English. I´m really grateful he´s my teacher! Haha, dont get any ideas parents....he´s married ;) I'm switching teachers though at the start of the new year! Hopefully I get another great one. But I told you this in my letter, but Hermana Porter is my roommate AND in my clase! It's really great getting to be friends with her.
So then I met mi companera. She's a nice girl from Alpine! Um, I'll write more in a personal letter. I'm... well, yea. so Then we went to the main building to have an orientation with all the new missionaries. President Brown (the MTC president) had all the 18 year Elders stand and then all the 19 year old sisters. So far there are only 8 of us! Haha I was sitting on the front row, so Pres Brown asked me to come up the podium. He asked me (in front of EVERYBODY) how long it took for me to want to serve a mission. I responded that I'd always wanted to and that I had my papers in in 48 hours. So, I now have a reputation! Just barely, walking into the computer lab, an Elder said hey you're the 19 year old, right?! Ha it's still a new concept. I'm sure that will wear off in a weeks when half of the MTC will be sisters. For real, that's what Pres Brown said! So cool.
We went over mission rules, and all that. There are LOT of rules. But then we had class some more and ate in the cafeteria. The food definitely lives up to it's reputation. All I eat is salads y fruit for desayuno y almuerzo y veggies por cena. I can completely see how people gain LOADS of weight here. But it's pretty decent I guess :) Class is long and hard. We do Spanish for an hour, Evangelio for an hour, and SPanish for an hour. It's just incredible how much Spanish I've learned the last few days. But it's constant spanish, spanish, spanish. I love it!
My zone leaders are really great. I'm mailing home a picture of our whole zone/branch! Also, I've seen just about everyone we know here in the MTC... it's so fun running into people! I've seen Elder Dredge, Brigham elton, Anna Newton, Cambria Mellot, that one girl you know dad that's going to Tuscan came up to me and we had a really good conversation! Shay, hay, and Mina, I saw Daniel! Haha we almost hugged and then realized that was off limits and awkwardly shook hands. Haha it was funny :) Do you want to know my normal day?
An hour of personal study (my fav)
Class (for 3 hours)
Teaching (my investigator is named Mateo. we've taught him two lessons so far and we're teaching him the 3rd tomorrow! It's nerve racking. So hard and so great. And yes, all in Spanish.)
More language study
A devotional/more study
So all in all it's looooooooong day. It feels like I'm awake for days, and days on end.
Sundays pretty much feel like any other day. Except for chuch and devotional. Sacrament is so amazing. Everyone has to prepare a talk (yes, in Spanish) and the Branch Pres (who is also awesome) randomly calls two people to speak. So it's intense. I played most of the hymns for sacrament, so madalyn will be pleased to know I'm using my "talents" :)
You might want to know some of the things I have learned and some personal experiences...
1) The spirit is so strong here. All of the time. But there are times you are overwhelmed by it. It's wonderful to live in this feeling constantly.
2) It's so, so, so hard. I can't describe how hard, actually. My first two nights I hardly got any sleep because I laid there and cried for a few hours. Honestly, my confidence in myself is pretty much gone. All gone. I've never been so humbled. I've realized that if I rely on my own merits and my own strength I am going to fail. I'll fail every day. I have to put my whole trust in Heavenly Father, I trust that he can do everything. I have to remind myself that God called me on a mission and that he will prepare a way for me to accomplish his commandments. I can't really describe what I feel happening inside of me... I don't feel the same though. You know that famous example how we are all like a block of marble and God chisles and molds us? Yeah, well, I didn't know my block of marble was still so rough... I'm getting HUGE adjustments made inside of me. And it's painful. It's hard to change, but I have to change. The Atonement is starting to make more sense. I've never felt like I needed it more than I do right now. Everyday, that's what sustains me. The speaker last night at our devotional talked about how we were all born with a hole in our hearts. people try and fill it with all sorts of things of the world, but the only thing that can fill it is the Atonement of Christ. I believe that! I feel it working... I feel like I'm always praying. WHich is probably a good thing!
It doesn't feel like christmas and I want to be home doing our traditions with you. But it's also so incredible to feel this special spirit here for Christmas! It's a great thing to give the savior. The best gift I've ever given him.
Write me back!! I LOVE your letters! If you use dearelder I will get them immediately instead of having to wait till Pday! :) I miss you. This place is wonderful and I just got a notification saying my time is up. I will try and write a letter as well!! Mom, I just want to call you so bad. I miss not talking to you especially every day. dad, I wish I could get your help and feel you strengh. Sibs, I just love you. keep being good. I need your support and prayers!!!
With all the love in the world,