Sounds like you had a great week! Thanks for sending me some of the pictures from your phone Dad! Its fun to look back on stuff, and that was a pick me up that I needed! Mom! Way to go! If Sister Janney is asking you for shooting tips then that Vegas trip must have really paid off haha. I love it! Glad you had tons of fun with her and Sister Davis! Tell them both hi for me!
Sounds like the ward harvest party was a ton of fun, and that your talk went well! Dad's right, he definitely got a keeper! Thank you for your prayers, I feel them and they're helping me so much, the language is COMING...today at the distribution center the lady that rung me up asked me how long I had been learning, and she thought that I had been learning for a few years on top of the CCM, so that was a great confidence boost!
I love you all and I am SO excited to tell you all about my week. This has definitely been the most eventful week since I've been at the CCM.
Okay, starting with an embarrasing story from last p-day. We were on the bus, the packed full body-to-body style bus.... and the moneychanger wanted all of our pay before we got off...this bus driver was terrible, starting and stopping in a way that practically bull-dozed everyone over in an instant. Anyway, so I was helping someone pass up their money when this driver just takes off without warning again, in an effort to catch my balance I had two options- steady myself on the wall of the bus, or ram into one of the elders in my district---so duh I'm going to try to steady myself. Well I forgot that I had a grocery bag in my hand, and when I flew to the side of the bus....the bag smacked some lady in the head. It was terrible. And all I could think to say in Spanish was "lo siento, lo siento" over and over again. Struggle bus. I got off and my whole district was laughing, yup they still haven't let that one go. Oh and I've been dubbed District Mom. How do I ALWAYS get the mom title?! haha
So, I'm not going to lie to you, last week was tough for me. I wasn't really homesick, I wasn't really struggling with anything...just a little off, struggling to feel the Spirit. But thank goodness for Hermano Lazo. I don't know if I said it already, but if I did...I'll say it again.... HERMANO LAZO IS THE BEST TEACHER I HAVE EVER HAD. EVER. We were supposed to have a language lesson earlier this week, but he said that he felt prompted to share some experiences with us about other missionaries in our circumstances, very recent and very spiritual stories. I feel like they're the types of stories that I shouldn't share over email- but I just want to tell you that they brought me back. Zoned in, ready to go. I was bawling like a baby, it was embarrassing, but the Spirit was so strong, and I knew the ending of the stories before they were told. It was a really great experience for me and it reminded me that the Lord knows each of His children and that we need to trust in His timing.
A few nights later...I was having one of those really boring, typical dreams all about my "exciting" life in the CCM haha. I was just dreaming about my district eating lunch in the cafeteria when suddenly an earthquake hit in my dream. I was so scared that I woke up super fast...but everything was still shaking. I thought I was just groggy and still trying to wake up but then one of my Latina roommates flew up and yelled "HERMANAS!" Yep. I survived my first Peruvian earthquake, and it was awesome haha. Apparently there were three tremors in the night, I only felt the one, and a lot of people slept right through it. CRAZY. I guess that little tremors like that happen a lot around here.
Now, I'm super excited to tell you about the end of this week. The CCM is so cool. The Provo MTC is pretty isolated, but here we are able to go out every P-day and the church organizes REAL proselytizing activities for us. So on Saturday, I was able to go to the Lima Norte mission and teach less active members, and one investigator about the church. I was paired with a Latina companion named H. Aceituno. Dad, you know how we both have that thing where people tell us everything going on in her life? She told me everything. She has a pretty rough story...and she told me a lot of it on the bus ride there...but I think her telling me brought us a lot closer and helped us to be unified during teaching. As we rode the bus further away from La Molina, I realized why everyone looks at us in awe when we tell them that La Molina is where the CCM is. We live in the ritzy part of Peru. I can't even describe how humbled I was as we headed towards the outskirts of town. Nothing on the internet, no story I've been told could prepare me for what was laid out before me. A lot of my district taught closer in the city- but I was assigned to a branch in very humble circumstances. You know how we talked about the higher up the hill, the poorer people are around here? Yeah...I went to the top of that hill. Me, my companion, and a really nice- but hard to understand Sister from the branch began to make our rounds. I was so nervous. We knocked on the first door and the woman we talked to was really nice, but I didn't understand anything that was going on. They were talking SO FAST. I couldn't keep up and when my companion would look at me to have me say something, I didn't really know what to say, or what they were talking about. I just kind of bore my testimony and hoped for the best. The next house we went up and it was a woman and her baby. We were teaching a good lesson and I was starting to understand more and was able to contribute. Then three of her little boys came home from school. It was my opportunity to bear testimony about going to church and I felt like I needed to make some promises to this family....as I talked- all these little boys were staring at me, this little gringa in their apartment... I just felt like everything I was saying was a jumbled mess...it sounded slow and awkward. After we finished our lesson though, Hermana A. and the other lady both turned around and told me that my Spanish had been absolutely perfect in that moment. I couldn't believe it. The gift of tongues is an amazing thing. Another cool story, we went to talk to a store keeper that hasn't been to church in a few years. She was really hesitant to talk to us, but we convinced her to let us teach. I was able to offer the opening prayer and I just felt overwhelmed by the Spirit in that moment. It was AWESOME! I understood every word, and every concern she had. I was able to bear testimony and share an experience with her. By the end of the lesson she was amiable and open, and she even gave us all some inca cola as a thank you! It was humbling and amazing.
What a cool experience. Really, it was a genuine taste of what my mission will be like. It made me realize how much I need to learn, and it humbled me more than I have ever been humbled in my life. Think about everything our family has. Thank God for what He has given us. Hermana Aceituno asked me if we had areas like what I saw on Saturday in the United States. H. Stirling's companion asked her what her house was like. We would be some of the wealthiest people in the country by the standards here. I didn't even know hwo to respond to H. Aceituno's question. We have been so blessed, and so sheltered from the struggles of the world.
This work is real. God's work and glory IS to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. I believe that. I believe that His children are the most important work he has. That's why I need to take my calling so seriously. I goof off so much with my District, but I LOVE when we all talk about our purpose, when I get to see the spiritual side of these young men. A lot of them remind me of Brett- super hilarious, obviously popular back home, but people with CONVICTION. You can tell who is here because they have a testimony. It's really amazing.
I love you tons. I hope that things are going well. I miss you but this is EXACTLY where the Lord needs me!
OH YEAH! I got called as the CCM Music Director. Cool! There are only 3 leadership positions for Sisters, and I was really worried that my comp and I were going to be called as the Sister Trainers, just because of the girl drama that has happened around here. But nope, I get to do music instead! I am SO excited, I can't even tell you! I've become a lot more confident in my singing and in piano here, I love it.
LOVE YOU ALL!