So first off I'd love to send you pictures but I guess a couple of weeks ago they made it so that you cannot upload them from your computer. So, I will be sending you a card with pictures on it soon because I leave A WEEK FROM TODAY! July 24 at 6 a.m.!!!!! Nuts! So, if you want anything to get to me you've got to send it soooon! I will not get any mail on Tuesday. The last day I'll be able to get anything is before 4 on Monday. I will be flying to Atlanta, Georgia, and then to Peru. Then, on August 25 (mal’s b-day!) I will be flying back to Atlanta. It doesn't say that I have flight arrangements after that, but my branch president is pretty sure I will just have to fly back to my home land to sign my visa and whatever and then I will be going to Bolivia. It's pretty crazy though!
Wed- today we taught Maria again. It was so incredible. We were really worrying and stressing about it- not having any idea what to do. Then one of our resource teachers- sister wilding- sat us down and talked to us about asking the right questions to invite the spirit. We ended up having an incredible lesson with Maria. The spirit was super strong, and my simple Spanish came easily! It was so incredible, and really taught me that if you don't have the spirit you won’t be able to teach anything. If people don't feel the truth, they won’t know in their minds its true, no matter how good your 'evidence'.
Thursday- today I had the opportunity to lead the 4 new sisters around because I’m coordinating sister. Elder Rees and Elder Calaway- our zone presidents- had to become my companions for a while as we did orientation and the tour together. It was really fun. Our zone leaders are super hilarious- our zone even has a secret handshake haha. We made sure everyone smelt the cream soda tree (there’s a tree here that smells like cream soda. I'm serious). It went well. Today was our last day with Maria. It didn't go as well as Wednesday, for hermana Seaver and I, but still a big improvement from our first times.
Friday- today after only two hours of class Hermano Case, our teacher, said "ok its personal study time- see you all in a week!" because he is leaving on a vacation. But we still had an hour of class left. But none of us questioned it we just started doing our personal study time. He came back about 30 minutes later and was like "I'm so sorry! My watch got off time! This happens to me all the time!" but instead of finishing class he just said "well I'm probably just going to go home and pack. Bye!" it was funny. But it ended up being awesome because we had personal study for almost two straight hours. Near the end, Elder Johnson had this brilliant idea to have us all get up and share something we learned during that study time. It was so spiritual and awesome- and helped me gain a testimony of the importance of sharing ideas to help you grow. We were all really looking forward to getting feedback about our experiences with Maria, but Hermano Case had said "she's just going to post a general response for us to watch on the TV". We watched it, but we were all kind of sad that we weren’t going to get more feedback than that because we want to know how to get better. Well guess who came into our class that night? Hermana Tew- the MTC teacher who played Maria. And now she is team teaching the class!!!!!!! AH!!!! It's so great! Because now she knows exactly how all of us are doing with Spanish and knowing the gospel. It’s so awesome! I'm glad the Lord is in charge here. Everything is just so amazing. And she's teaching us how to teach!!! It’s wonderful. But it’s so good that we’ve already had experiences with teaching now, because everything makes more sense and is working out awesome. I love it!!!!
Saturday- today during a workshop I got paired up with this Elder from Australia. He was really confused when I said "...in the second to last paragraph" he said "My companion does that too! Second TO Last means the second-last AND the last paragraph." He thinks we are weird haha.
Sunday- I was finally able to do choir today. It wasn't Mendenhall or Brother Brenchley directing of course haha. But when we perform tonight it will be Brother Brenchley so I'll finally get to see him. Also, it was hard to write a talk today because I had so many meetings as coordinating sister!!!! So I was super glad I didn't get called on to talk ha. Fireside by Jenny Oaks Baker was INCREDIBLE!!!
Monday- today was just kind of crazy. We fasted for Elder Casey in our zone because he had a cat scan. It was really hard for my district to focus because we are all so ready for P-day!!! and we were hungry. We are teaching 2 investigators now. Hermana Tew is playing one character, and our substitute teacher for Hermano Case is playing one. I'm glad I know some stuff about Psychology from school. It’s been hard dealing with some of my own reactions to stress and homesickness, but it’s been even harder dealing with the way some other people deal with it. I'm grateful that I've learned to think "why is this person behaving the way they are?" that way I know that they aren't attacking me, but that they are reacting to the new situations they are in. I didn't realize how hard it is for EVERYONE. But we are adjusting more and more and its fantastic. to clarify- they do teach Spanish here, but it is all in an effort for us to complete our missionary purpose which is: "to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end." so we will learn about a word or grammar concept, and then we are given an investigator situation in which to practice it or something like that. It's really cool. So we learn Spanish in as much as it will help us complete our purpose- it's necessary for us to share our purpose.
Oh I'm travel leader for my group going to Peru. It will be me with 12 elders going to bolivia. I dunno why I'm the leader seeing as I’ve flown twice in my life. haha should be interesting.
thanks for the treats, the letters, and all the great things I've received!! The shirt works great mom- thanks!! I'll be sending stuff back soon that I can't wear for various reasons. It’s not that bad, but I want to strictly obey so that God can work miracles in my life.
I’m trying to decide if I should buy new scriptures. Mine are falling apart, but they have all of my markings in them! Advice to future missionaries: you will be LOST unless you know Preach my Gospel BEFORE you go into the MTC. LOST. Sorry this letter is crazy but 30 minutes is nothing!
Anyways I love you all so very much!!!