Sunday, December 22, 2013

12/21/13 Email

Ay yay yay, where do I even begin?!

First off, my p-day is Saturday.

I entered the MTC on December 18th, 2013.
So after my family dropped me off, it was basically like they threw us in water without knowing how to swim, but don't worry, they gave us a really long straw, so we could still breath.
Okay, maybe it wasn't that crazy, but we just jumped in without abandon and not looking back. From the car I was let by an Elder or "Host" to help me, he was from Mexico and will be serving in Brazil. But I honestly had a hard time understanding what he was saying, so I thought "Man, if I can't even understand his accent while he is speaking English, this will be a TRIP to understand Mexicans when they are actually speaking Spanish to me." He led me from building to building to get my books, cards, tag, etc. So I was handed like a twelve pound bag of books, including; Spanish Scriptures, Dictionary, Planner, Preach my Gospel, Spanish Study Tools, etc. Then we got on a bus to be shuttled to our apartments, because I am living on West Campus (which I hear is WAY nicer than the regular MTC Campus, it is Yview housing, which is old BYU apartments). As I got on the bus, everyone who was on the bus began to clap and cheer, I could tell this was going to be a great adventure we would all be taking together. I was talking to the girl next to me, and we started exchanging random facts about ourselves, she asked about school and I told her that I have my Bachelors Degree. Somehow this Big Polynesian guy behind us heard and loudly replied, "You ALREADY have your Bachelors?! You are a GENIUS!" So... then the whole bus knew, and people are tricked and think I am really smart. Ha ha. I corrected him and said, "Well... actually I am twenty-two, so...". 

I am sharing my apartment with three other Hermanas. My companion Hermana Wood and I share a room together, I have top bunk. And then our house mates are in our District, Hermana Evans (she makes random voices that are entertaining) and Hermana Gentry (YES I have another REDHEAD in my district!). So the four of us share a whole apartment together, and one bathroom.

Below is a picture of me and my Companion, Hermana Wood (she also enjoys Volleyball and ASL), she is from Pleasant Grove, Utah.

But I love my District, so there is the the three people that I just mentioned, and myself. Plus another Companionship of Hermana Smith (She is Polynesian, and I adore her)  and Hermana Deeks (Imagine a Canadian Kimberly, and you get Hermana Deeks). But I have already learned something from every member of my District. I know that Heavenly Father put us together for a special and specific purpose.

Okay, now comes the food. You should all be very proud of me, I have set and so far kept a goal to try meat once a day. The first night I eat some Salmon. The next day at lunch I at HALF a hot dog, that one was rough! And last night I had some Talapia. It will be a long road with meat joining the journey. But I know that by making efforts now, it will be easier to stomach in Mexico. 

The first night I didn't sleep very well, because I think it was a lot to take in, and I am semi claustrophobic, so I felt like the ceiling was on top of my face, because I can't sit up in bed with out hitting my head, you would all be entertained by my dive and slide method, I am sure. ;)  But I have been sleeping better as the nights go on. And yes, I am not a morning person, but I take the rules very serious because "Obedience brings Blessings, but EXACT obedience brings MIRACLES.", and pretty much every day I have gotten up before 6:30, closer to 6:00 so I can get ready more. And to bed by 10:30, that is a work in progress, I try my hardest to be laying in bed by 10:30 and let my mind unwind as best that I can.

There is A TON that I could portray right now, there has been SO many amazing lessons and classroom time, and I wish you could feel the spirit and experiences that I have had already. But one thing that I can say with confidence is that I KNOW that a mission is 100% the correct decision, and exactly where my Heavenly Father wants and needs me right now. 

I already say my prayers in Spanish, they are shaky, but I can only move up from here. We taught and "Investigator" yesterday, and my teaching IN SPANISH, can for sure go up from here. I am excited to see my progress. And I know that the improvement that I am already gaining, comes form the Lord.

So back to my District, before I cam out here I pondered the thought about being a District Leader, and I got this odd reassurance that it would be me for my District. And my immediate thought was that it was prideful and that I didn't want that mindset. The morning before our meeting I issued a challenge to my District, that on Monday we are making flash cards and taking notecards and we are going to do our very best to ONLY speak in Spanish for the entire day, why not hit the ground running, we have ONE chance to be a single full time missionary, and I don't plan to waste one second of it. But on Thursday night we met with our Branch, so our District of three Companionships and a District with two Elder Companionships and two Hermana Companionships. Our Branch President is President Bradford, and in the Presidency is Brother Monson (the Nephew of Thomas S. Monson), and Brother Durfee. We started with a Hymn to invite the Spirit, and yes the Spirit did come! Then we were each interviewed by Brother Monson or Brother Durfee, while President Bradford stayed and had each of us stand and tell who in our family had served, why we chose to serve, and most importantly our Testimony. The Spirit was unreal, each member of my branch poured out their souls. We have two huge Elders in our Branch, one is Tongan (he shared how his family had lost jobs and their house and then he did decide that he would serve a mission, and it all turned around) and one has a Scholarship to play Football and BYU (two weeks before he had to report for Football he called his coach and told him that he had changed his mind, and he was going to serve a mission, so he will join the team later), and yes they were both crying just as much as everyone else.

I was interviewed by Brother Monson, he was a funny character, but he picked my brain for sure. And again the thought came that I would be leading my District, and I disliked the pride I held with this thought. The last letter Jen Moore sent me right before I left, she told me to prepare to Lead, because she thought I would be a Leader very early on, I thought she was crazy with that statement. Before they were going to announce the leaders, my companion leaned over and asked me if when I was called if she would be called also, or if she would just be helping because we were always to stay together. She acted as if I already had the assignment. And then our Presidency went and talked and returned, and they asked me, two Hermanas from the other district and an Elder from the other district to follow them. And yes, I was issued the call to serve as District Leader for my District and Sister Training Leader for my District and within the Branch. I was humbled in this moment, I think sometimes the spirit gives us a heads up. My District is an ALL Sisters District, and the Branch President said he prayed about it and reprayed about it, and it is how it is suppose to be, and I agree. The sisterhood in our district is already SO strong!

Me and my Companion will be Fasting this Sunday, to prepare to better teach our Investigator, I know that Fasting is a true principle in the Gospel and something that I can improve on, I am excited to apply it and see the blessings, because I know they will come. 

Ah time is long in class, but short when you are writing e-mails. I love you all, keep me updated! Let Dear Elder be your bestfriend, because I will get it daily, and I am the one who gets the mail for my district, so don't let me go to the mailbox sad. Everyone pick a day and just give me a quote of the day or something, eh? Those with smart phones or devices, it is as easy as sending a text. So I expect those puppies to be flowing in now, eh?  ;) 

Again, my p-day is Saturday, but WE DO GET TO E-MAIL ON CHRISTMAS!!!


Love Always,
                    Hermana Smith 

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