Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013

Hey y'all :)

So now you guys know that my p-day is Mondays :) I'll probably be sending emails around this time every p-day, just so you know :)

So, being a missionary is SOOOOOO amazing! I absolutely love it! I'll give you the quick run down of my adventures over the last 5 days.

Wednesday was crazy. After I was dropped off, they took me into all these different buildings and I found out that I would be staying at the MTC WEST CAMPUS! (AKA: Wyview) Home sweet home! That's where (almost) all the Spanish-speaking missionaries are, which is really cool because we all can just speak Spanish to each other at mealtime, walking to and from classes, etc. It was a little weird at first, living in an apartment just like my old one, doing laundry in the same place...but it's all good now :) My companion is Hermana Linford and I just love her to death! She is 19 (just barely though), from Counsel, Idaho, plays the flute, youngest in her family... and we have discovered that we are pretty much the exact same person! Except for the fact that she can speak WAY more Spanish than I can. I am actually the only person in my district who didn't take Spanish in high school, so I'm definitely the furthest behind. But it actually works out really well. We are learning so much together, and we are just getting started! My district is so awesome. We are ALL going to Mexico Puebla South, which is totally awesome! Most districts aren't like that! There are two other sisters in our district, Hermanas Jones and Bowers-Nunez (we also share an apartment with them), and then 4 elders, Elders Autin, Werber, Thorne and Anderton. We are all SO close, and we do everything together (even the things we aren't forced to do together!)

On Thursday, we started working so hard. My teacher, Hermano Rasmussen, only speaks in Spanish, so we had to learn how to pay attention very quickly. My day consists of waking up around 5:30 (we have breakfast at 6:30), and we start studying at 7. Then we have lunch at 11...then more studying or class. Then dinner is at 4 and then we study some more, until 9:30. We live in our classroom. They are really long days...but it has been going by so fast. We have gym time everyday too, in these giant white "burbujas" (bubbles) I'll attach a picture of them :) They have basketball, soccer, volleyball and four square courts, but we mostly run laps and do strength training. 

On Friday, Hermana Linford and I taught our first lesson to "Ana" SPANISH. To say the least...we crashed and burned! But it's all uphill from there, right? I am so amazed at all the Spanish I have learned in the last 5 days. It is so amazing, and Heavenly Father has truly blessed me when it comes to picking up the language. 

Saturday was my hardest day this week, but it was also the best day. The other days were hard, but Saturday really got to me. We taught Ana again Saturday morning, and Hermana Linford and I felt SO prepared going in there. But Ana asked us questions that I could answer in English, but I just couldn't in Spanish. Hermana Linford just amazed me though, and was able to answer her questions good enough, and said so many words that she didn't even think she knew! I was so happy for her! The Spirit was so strong when we bore our testimonies though. But I walked out of that lesson feeling super discouraged. And I felt super bad for Hermana Linford, because she was stuck with a companion who can't speak Spanish. All day, negative thoughts stirred in my mind and I was so frustrated with myself. But then that night, during class, Hermano Rasmussen decided to boycott learning grammar and phrases...and instead taught the lesson that I think we all needed to hear. He talked to us about the worth of souls, and had us study some scriptures in Alma 26. He then told stories from his mission in Chile, and the Spirit was so strong, and his message was so powerful. Then we read Alma 13 together as a class, and that was the first time I completely lost control of my emotions (don't worry, Hermana Jones was crying too). We are called by God to be His missionaries. We have been fore-ordained. We have been preparing our whole lives and pre-mortal lives for our missions. We have the potential to become ANGELS, declaring His gospel in Puebla, Mexico. But it requires, faith, applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and being sanctified through the power and grace of God. No one is perfect, and no missionary is perfect. The Lord does not expect me to be perfect, he only asks that I try my best. ...But the miracle of Saturday night was as Hermano Rasmussen talked in flawless Spanish for that last hour and a half...I understood every word he said. The gift of interpretation of tongues is real! The language of the spirit is universal! The gospel is true! I went home that night with so much gratitude in my heart - to be able to have a district so focused on the work that we can invite the Spirit into our classroom, for a teacher who understands the importance of teaching the lessons we need, and for my loving Heavenly Father, for loving me and comforting me, even when I feel like I least deserve it. 

Sundays are pretty awesome :) We have Sacrament meeting in the bubbles, relief society, district and zone meetings, devotional at the main campus, and films that night. I was super sick Saturday and Sunday that put a downer on things. I had a really nasty cold/cough that kept me up for most of Saturday night, and on Sunday, my head just felt like a giant beach ball got stuck between my ears. But I'm better now, no worries! :) Prayers and medicine go a long ways!

I love you all!  I am so happy to be a missionary. There is nothing else that I'd rather be doing with my life right now, than serving and inviting others to come unto Christ. God loves each of us so much, and I feel so blessed every day to have the gospel in my life. I can't wait til I can help the people in Puebla to feel of his love, and learn of how to return to live with him again. This is a beautiful work, and I'm so blessed to be a part of it. You're in my prayers!! 

Love always, Hermana Smith

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