Thursday, February 7, 2013

One Month Mark Amazing

Padre, Mama, and the rest of the fam bam!
Thank you so so so much for the wonderful package! It was so fun to get handwritten letters and the bueno bars were a huge hit in my zone! Everyone loved them! So, let me just start off by saying this week has been such a better one. Last week was a little bit of a struggle, but this week I decided that, yes there are going to be hard days and struggles on the mission, but I made it a priority to really make this week better. I did this by trying to be more optimistic, focused, and diligent, and it has been working! This week has actually flown right on by. 

Time here at the MTC is the most bizarre thing! At some moments, I feel like I've been here forever but then there are others that I feel like I just got here. We are about halfway right now! The week I came in was the last week they were doing spanish for 9 weeks. Everyone else that has come after us is now only doing it for 6. So, we are on a little bit of a weird schedule. They call it 6 + 3. So we are actually learning everything in an accelerated rate like the new missionaries, but we will have 3 weeks at the end to review everything. At first, we were all a little bummed, but now I can't imagine leaving in about 2 weeks! The extra 3 weeks will be really good because we will get to solidfy a lot of spanish things we are confused about and we will just be practicing teaching 24/7. So, mom wants to know what a typical day here is like.... I'm sorry I've never really explained any of it. The days vary a little bit but I'll just tell you kind of how it works. We wake up at 6:30 and then typicallly have gym from 6:30 - 7:30. Then we have breakfast at 8:10 and then class starts at 8:45. Class goes for three hours and then we get an hour of personal study before we head off to lunch. After lunch we come back and have companionship study for an hour (this is when we prepare our lessons and share things that we learned in personal study) and then we have class again for three hours. Then, we head back to the cafeteria for dinner and then after dinner we have language study for an hour (we memorize vocab words, read the Libro de Mormon out loud, and practice tenses and conjugating verbs) and then we have TALL (this is on the computer and it teaches us more spanish). After all this, we have planning time so that we can prepare and outline for the next day. At 9:25 we head back to our residence and have to be in bed by 10:30. And then we do it all over again the next day! There is always something we should be doing. This actually makes the days go by so much faster and it makes you feel good because you are being productive. Pdays, we get to go to the temple, do our laundry, and write letters. On Sunday and Tuesday nights we get to go to devotionals. I love the devotionals! They are so uplifting! Sundays here are the best! We have Relief Society with all the sisters here and usually someone comes to talk to us (this week it was the general relief society president and last week it was the general primary president). We have Sacrament Meeting with our branch. My branch presidency and their wives are the best! They are like our parents and grandparents here! Dad, the picture that you got this week was from one of the branch presidencies wives. She took it on her phone and asked if I wanted to send it to you guys. Sorry mom, I could only send it to one number, and I never know about you and that phone of yours! hahaha jk The only scary thing about sundays is that you may get called up to give a talk in SPANISH! Luckily, it is only for 3-5 minutes, but still I am dreading the day that I will have to do that! Not everyone gets picked, though. You never know if you have to speak until after they pass the Sacrament and then they just call your name out. I said the prayer last week all in spanish! My companion had to talk and she did great! I think Jules had to give a talk when she was here. Speaking of her, she sent me a package this week! She is the sweetest! 

I'm so glad you guys got to go to lunch this week with Meliss. I am so so so excited for her to be here, I can barely handle it! She is going to be such a wonderful missionary! It is going to be so neat to be in here with her and Chloe. I've seen Trev quite a bit this week, which I love! I also got to see Jeff for a few minutes last Thursday! I just ran into him on my way to dinner!

 So, some spiritual things about this week...... We got a new investigator named Jose, so now we have three. Our lessons so far this week have been such neat experiences. We have really tried harder to prepare, but then to let the spirit guide us. We are not here to teach lessons but people. It is incredible how much better a lesson goes as you try to cater it to your investigators needs and involve them throughout the entire lesson. This week in class we have been talking a lot about how the Lord is hastening His work. As we were talking about this our teacher said, but are we hastening ours? Of course, our work is His work, but it got me thinking. Are we (not just missionaries) trying harder to move along this work, because obviously the Lord is telling us that it is time. It made me think about things that I needed to change and things I needed to work harder at to help hasten His work. At a devotional this past tuesday, Sister Clayton (a wife of one of the 70), spoke to us about choosing to be happy. This was just what I needed to hear! Something she said that I loved was..... " Growth occurs in the place past our comfort zone". This is so true! I have felt and seen this as I have been here. She also said that optimism is a choice and that we can CULTIVATE a happy heart. I love when you hear talks that you feel like were just meant for you. I think we can each try a little harder to cultivate a happy heart, or at least I know I can. I love you guys all so much! Thanks for writing me throughout the week and updating me! It means so much to me. I just want you guys to know that I love this gospel. Yo se que la iglesia es verdadera. Yo se que Dios ama sus hijos. Yo se que Jesucristo vive. LES AMO!

P.S. Oh and tell grandma and grandpa thank you so much for the yummy cinnamon rolls! They were a hit! Oh, and also I met 6 girls that are going to Independence this past week. They left yesterday, and apparently there are like 24 that went with them! They are all English speaking, but it was so great to meet missionaries that are going to my mission!

1. Here are some of the amazing girls in my zone! I love them! (dad you may have gotten a similar picture like this from one of the wives in our branch presidency)

2. I love this girl! She is in my district and we just get along so well. We have a similar sense of humor so it's great! We have had many moments where we laugh until we cry! Love her! She's headed to Argentina as well. I'm going to miss all these girls when we all head out.

3. Here my companion and I are on our temple walk. It was a BEAUTIFUL sunday! Seriously, the warmest and sunniest it has been since we've been here. I know, the whole foot pop is a little awkward! hahah but we were just a little bit happy and excited that we didn't have to wear our coats!

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