I love you all so much!! Thank you for all the letters, emails and messages. I am so blessed to have all of you. To my students - I LOVE YOU ALL!! Thank you for the letters and encouragement. I miss each of you and think of you every day. I brought pictures and have showed ALL the Hermanas how beautiful you girls are. Keep dancing and smiling every day. Quick story I was stretching during Deportes (sports time) the first day and all the hermanas and Elders were freaking out! They basically think I am the coolest person ever and a little freaky haha. Everyone calls me ballerina. I love it and it always makes me think of you cute girls. Love you!
Okay so this week has been INSANE! I love the CCM. It is so hard to be sitting all day. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I am sure I look like a spaz because I am constantly wiggling in my seat and have to get up and walk around. The food here is delicious. Our chef, Carlos, is amazing. He also prepares great meals for us. It is WAY too much food but delicious none the less. I am so grateful for our hour and a half of Deportes each day. Mi compañera y I usual go running and do some strength training. It is a great way to break up our day. My maestro, Hermano Cuque, is the most incredible person I have EVER met. The spirit he carries with him is unlike anything I have ever felt before. Like I said before he just returned from Peru and he always has wonderful experiences to share with us. He really is patient with Mi compañera Hermana Tiechert and me. I appreciate it so much. I will be so sad to say goodbye to him.
So this is how our day goes, most of the time. Wake up, get ready then off to breakfast. We then have personal study, language study and classes until lunch. After lunch more classes and studying. At 3:30 we have deportes until 5:00 then off to dinner so we can eat some more. After dinner we prepare our lessons at 7:00 we have snack time. I am telling you the amount of food they serve you here is ridiculous! After snack time we teach our investigator and do more personal study. We have an hour to get ready for bed then lights out at 10:30. It is really hard to be in bed by 10:30. I usually do not fall asleep until about 12. It isn’t hard to wake up at 6:30 though. So that is a blessing. I just wish I wasn’t wasting time lying in bed each night. I want to practice Española! So as I said before all the classes are AMAZING. The spirit here is absolutely addicting. President and Hermana Nicolysen are the greatest ever. I love them so much. She has tons of sass and spunk. SOO refreshing. Everyone here is so friendly. The moment I got here I felt like I instantly had 150 new friends. That is how many people are here. It is about two thirds elders and one third hermanas. Okay my DISTRICT! THE BEST EVER. I love these people so much. I know we will be friends forever. We are laughing all day in class. The Elders are the sweetest to us. I love feeling their spirits and hearing their strong testimonies. The Hermanas are basically the coolest people ever. We all get along so well. I don’t know how I ever lived without them. Mi Companera and I are BEST FRIENDS. We get along so well. We laugh, cry and act ridiculous ever day together haha. I actually love having a companion and knowing I always have a friend. Our roommates are amazing as well. I will be so sad to see them leave. So Hermana Teichert and I are the ONLY missionaries going to NICARAGUA here. Crazy huh. Maybe we will get more in a couple weeks. We heard all the Elders going to Nicaragua are in the Provo MTC but you hear all sorts of things here. I am sure we will get Latinos 2 weeks before we leave.
SPANISH! AHHHHHH. I have never felt so frustrated in all my life. Everyone in our district beside MI Companera, me and one elder took lots of Spanish before coming. I hate feeling behind. I pray every day though and I know it will come with time. I know how to pray, testify and carry on a very basic conversation. We sit by the Latinos at meals as much as we can to practice. Hermano Cuque ONLY speaks in Spanish. I know it is really helpful but at the same time it makes me want to rip my hair out. It is then I have to breath, say a prayer and ask the Lord for help.
Our second day here we had to teach our first lesson to Hermano Lopez in ESPANOL. Here in the CCM we teach REAL investigators. He learned about the church while working in America last year. That first lesson was TERRIBLE. We walked away in tears because we could not say ONE THING. We decided right then we could not do this alone. We HAVE to teach from the spirit. Our second lesson went much better and he committed to Baptism! How incredible is that. Last night we taught about eternal families. The spirit during that lesson was unlike anything I have ever felt before. I loved hearing him try to explain what the spirit felt like to him. It is so amazing to see the change in him. We love Hermano Lopez so much and so does our Heavenly Father. We only get to teach him one more time and then he has to start taking lessons from the "real" missionaries. Please pray for him!
Okay Guatemala! This is the most BEAUTIFUL place I have ever been. The CCM is literally right next to the Temple. We get to leave and go to the Temple tomorrow for pday. I can’t WAIT!! I love the CCM but it really does feel like a prison sometimes. We call it spiritual prison in our district. Anyways it will be nice to leave and next week we get to go to the city and shop! I am sitting here right now looking out the window and we are surrounded by trees. It is GOREGOUS. You can tell it is poor here when looking at the buildings. The weather is always perfect. We had a huge rainstorm yesterday. We were instantly drenched as soon as we walked outside. I have never experienced rain like that. It was crazy! We just keep hearing how HOT and POOR Nicaragua is. I can’t wait to get there and see for myself.
I wish I had time to tell you about everyone in my district but I can’t right now. Trust me I am writing everything in my journal and can’t wait to share it when I get home. We have had some super funny moments already. Yesterday Elder Saunders was supposed to introduce himself, say something he likes and where he is from. INSTEAD he accidently said he was Jesus Christ and that he loved himself hahahah. We were dying!!!! He felt so bad after and said he repented ha. At lunch yesterday we had fish and one of the Hermanas wanted to say she loves fish. Instead she said she loves sin. Haha oh Spanish. One more story. Mi Companera and I were walking outside to get to our room and we were goofing off singing and kind of dancing around. Two Latino Elders came running up to me and started talking SO fast. I didn’t catch a thing they said. After about 5 mins and a lot of charades, we are getting so good at that, we finally realized they wanted me to sing. So right there I started to sing a hymn! Once I was done they started cheering and clapping. They said my voice was muy bonita. It was so sweet. Now every time they see me they ask me to sing haha.
Tomorrow for pday the CCM allows all these vendors to come and sale different things to us. They have these AWESOME backpacks that are supposed to be super good for your back while out in the field and they have scriptures cases for the Spanish Scriptures. I think I am going to get both. I also need to get more notebooks! So I will probably use my cash but just so you know. The CCM literally gave us 20 different books but I am not sure I will take all of them into the field. I will figure that all out when it gets closer to leaving. Here in the CCM we say the days are long but the weeks are short. It is so true!! Every day I have a moment of PLEASE just be over but then I have 100 other moments of pure joy. I am not going to lie it is SOOO hard to not just sit and visit in class all day. We do as much as that as we can during free time though and I am sure I will get all my visiting in on pday.
Like I said the Española is really hard right now. The first couple days I was having a hard time. Everyone here is so knowledgeable in either the language or the Gospel. I felt like I really wasn’t proficient in either area. I took some time to think about what my strengths were. I decided it was my love for people and the Lord. I feel most confident when I am getting to know other people, becoming friends and loving them. That is my goal for this mission. LOVE! To me that is what the Gospel is about and that is what is important. The Language and the Gospel knowledge are secondary. I was called to Nicaragua because I need to teach those PEOPLE. Like it says in preach my gospel we teach people not lessons. That is so important. I love the spirit here! This Gospel is so true
Well trust me I still have my weirdo moments and sassy moments but I wouldn’t be me without those, right? haha. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! I pray for you every day in my broken Spanish. I am a MISSIONARY. What the?