Hola mi familia! I can't believe this is the last time I'll be writing you from the CCM! It went by so fast, I can't even believe it's almost been 6 weeks now. So weird. But I'm so excited!!! I'm a bit nervous of course for the change, but I'm so ready to go and experience the "real" mission life. :) I don't know yet if I'll be able to call from the airport, but my flight leaves at 11am on Tuesday, so if I do call, it will be between 7-9am in Utah. Hopefully I can!
I got even more excited for the field after I went on splits with the sister missionaries on Friday. It was so much fun! We met them at a chapel around 2 o'clock and then rode a "guagua" to our area. A "guagua" is a super tiny, hippy-van-looking bus. there were no doors and basically the goal is to see how many people you can squeeze in there. It was so fun! Quite the experience. :) Then we split up. I went with Hermana Paul (her sister was in my ward at BYU. Talk about a small world) and Hermana Mueller. They are both from the states, so we talked mostly in English which I was actually kind of disappointed about, but it's ok! Most of our appointments fell through so we did a lot of walking and contacting, but it was still good. The heat wasn't that bad either. It's really hot for the first hour or so, but then you just get so sweaty and hot that you don't notice it anymore. We were in the poor, kind-of ghetto area, so we were walking through sewage and tiny alleys. Houses (more like little one-room huts) were packed on top of each other and there was garbage everywhere. People were just sitting outside just talking with each other. It was a really eye-opening experience to see that people really do live like that and that it's normal for them. It was very humbling. It was so cool to get to see the city and experience real mission life. We also bought a couple mangoes from a street vendor and when we came back we washed them and ate them, and they were the best things I have ever eaten. They were basically like candy. So sweet, so juicy, and so delicious!!!!! It was such a great experience and I'm so excited to do it again tomorrow! :)
Hermana Jacobsen had some really cool experiences during her splits too, but when she got back, she wasn't too excited to find that she had over 70 mosquito bites all over her calves! The first day, they didn't look too bad, but the next day, it looked like she had some sort of disease because they had grown and made her legs all red and swollen and spotted. I felt so bad for her! We both had sprayed with the same bug spray before we left, but for some reason the mosquitos just couldn't stay away from her! They're better now, so that's good, but I felt so bad for her!
Also, Saturday marked one month out! Apparently it's a big thing out here to celebrate each month you're out. It's called your "Cumplemes". So we celebrated our Cumplemes on Saturday. I'll send a picture of a cute sign we made about it.
Sundays.... wow, I just can't seem to have a relaxing Sunday, but that's ok, because I love it! I did another musical number this Sunday, but this time with my district. We sang Nearer My God to Thee. All of us are acutally pretty musical, so since there were four of us, we did all four parts and I think it sounded really good! It was a good experience. I love my district!
So kind of a funny story. The Hermanas decided to do a fast yesterday and today, so we started after lunch yesterday and then went to class. Our teacher likes to give us chocolate during class, so when he walks in, lo and behold he gives us chocolate. Even though we had just started, I totally forgot that I was fasting, so I went right ahead and opened it and plopped it in. As soon as I put it in my mouth, I remembered I was fasting so I turned to Hermana Jacobsen and showed her the wrapper and while pointing at my mouth and she just started cracking up laughing. She said my eyes were so big and my face had turned really red...... it was awesome. :) We ran to the bathroom so I could spit it out and then all was well! It was so funny! :)
Last night, we noticed that we are getting calluses (spelling?) on our knees from praying. We dubbed them our battle wounds, since we fight our battles on our knees. Don't you just love that? I think that just sounds so cool and so powerful. I love it! :)
This week with my investigators was kind of a rough one, but I learned so much! I started getting a bit frustrated because he was asking so many questions that I didn't have the answers to. But then I read the coolest quote by Brigham Young in Preach My Gospel. It basically said something along the lines of how it doesn't matter how educated you are in the scriptures or well you can teach, but what matters most is your testimony and the bearing of your testimony. Investigators can deny anything and everything except for your testimony. The bearing of your testimony can be the most powerful factor in the conversion of an investigator. This filled me with so much hope, because I don't know a lot of deep doctrine and I have a really hard time remembering where scriptures are and knowing how to answer investigator's questions, but the one thing I can do is share what I know to be true. I know that if I bear my testimony, the Spirit will touch the hearts of my investigators. After all, I was converted by the testimony of my seminary teacher. If you remember my story from my farewell talk, it was my seminary teacher who bore his testimony about the Book of Mormon that helped me gain my testimony of the Book of Mormon and ultimately of this gospel. I don't remember the lesson at all, but the Spirit touched me so strongly as I listened to him bear his testimony. A testimony is a powerful thing and we need not be ashamed of it, because it can be the cause of so much good in our lives and in the lives of those around us. It was a good lesson to learn and one that I know I will need in the field. I don't need to know the answers to everything to know that this is the true church of God. And I do know it to be true with all of my heart.
Sounds like Kalyn's wedding was really good! Tell her congratulations for me!!!! :) And her pictures are absolutely gorgeous! I'm totally going to steal her idea and do a french fry and ice cream bar. Best idea ever! :)
I know you'll do great on your finals mom! Good luck! And yes, I would love to see that ancestry book that Robin gave you when I get back. I love family history! :)
Oh my goodness, I'm dying from Amelia's cuteness! I sure hope she does musical theater too! She would be really good at it, that little drama queen. :) Love her!
By the way, P-days in the field are on Mondays, so I won't have a P-day next week. So I hope you guys have a super fun 4th of July and an awesome week and a half!!! :)
I love you all so much!!!! :)
P.S. a little father's day blurb since I didn't have time last week. Thank you for being such a great example for me dad! I look up to you in so many ways and I'm so greatful for your hard work in providing for our family and in raising us in the gospel. Thank you for all you have taught me about obedience and trust in the Lord. Thank you for everything! I love you!