HOLA!!!! (That is my favorite Spanish word to say I've decided)
So it has almost been a week her en el CCM, but it feels like a month. I loved opening my e-mail and seeing all the e-mails, it makes me miss you all, but don't worry I'm not homesick :) PS there were 25! Big shout out to those who wrote snail mail this week.(Mom, Linda, and Weldon) Your letters were such a treat! Because the days feel like weeks and are so long, it is so nice to get a letter at the end of the day. Some days can be really discouraging, so it helps to distract myself and be reminded that I am loved. I loved all the e-mails today too! They made me laugh, gasp and cry. I am thinking of you all and praying for you (when I'm not in class haha).
So this week was crazy! I wish I had time tor really tell you all about it, don't worry I am keeping a journal so you can probably read it later.....censored of course.
Anyway here is what happened this week.....
After I got dropped off, a nice Irish Elder ushered me through a bunch of lines to get all my supplies, including my name badge! (It's like I have a new name, which is Hermana. It is so weird to think people call me Jaclyn, and Ciara.....*shudder* it just sounds to wrong haha) Anyway the room you go through the lines in was the room where we did that orientation for Justin's mission when we dropped him off. I walked down the same stairs Madilyn fell down as a baby. Kind of funny huh? Anyway they bused me over to west campus, so I am not even at the actual MTC. West campus is specifically for those learning Spanish, which is kind of awesome. We live/study in the Wyview and Raintree apartment complexes. (no stalking Gill ;) its against the rules, and you know how I feel about rules ;) ) Then we went to a bunch of meetings to learn about the MTC, including a branch meeting. (Brach = several districts, the people you go to church with)
The rest of the week is kind of a blurrr.....I wish I could remember it more vividly.... I'll just tell you about some of the things I do everyday I guess. We have classes 10 hours a day, which is kind of a lot. It feels like I am drinking from a fire hydrant.....and getting really bad water burn on my face. We are already teaching investigators, which can be intimidating and frustrating at times. It is SO MUCH HARDER to teach with someone else. I am so used to just teaching by myself and not gonna lie I kind of miss that. It is also good though, because sometimes I just don't know what to say, also it is in another language. Every three hours or so we break to eat. The food is actually really good. I am thoroughly enjoying it. Good thing I was so stressed I lost weight before I left, because I guarantee I have gained it all back. I don't even care haha it is just delightful. My favorite part is that I don't have to cook!
Oh here is something that stands out, on Thursday so the SECOND day there we had a meeting to meet the branch presidency. They are so great! Brother Nillson (a counselor) used to be in our stake and also coached at Orem High (go tigers!) how crazy is that? Anyway so they interviewed all the missionaries individually and then one of the presidency members ( Hermano Villamizar) took my companion in a room and pretty much just started talking to us and told us that we are the new Sister Training Leaders. Did I mention it was the second day here?! I didn't even know what that was! We found out though, because we had meetings ALL day Sunday to talk about it. Pretty much we just have to help the new sisters feel welcome, and assist in any problem situations, and do interviews, and go to a lot of meetings, and assist with checkouts, and be perfect (no joke, that is what they said) NO PRESSURE! We are just supposed to be examples I guess. It makes me wonder if I am a bit over enthusiastic at times. Example: Shouts of joy and jumping when I get letters....not very sisterly of me....oh well haha. Oh and apparently I am now the pianist. I am not all that skilled at the piano. I mean I do alright, and I can do things if I practice, but no one else here plays so..... One of the Elders who was zone leader last week kept coming up to me and being like oh and by the way you're playing this is five minutes. INCLUDING A MUSICAL NUMBER!!!! I kind of just went with it, because what else was I supposed to do haha Let me just tell you the spirit has taken control of my hands at times. It is so crazy cool!
I love, love, love, love, love, my district they are so great! The Elders are soooo funny....or maybe they just seem really funny, because there is not a lot here that is funny haha Also the sisters are great too! My companion I also love. Her name is Hermana Tate. She is from Orange County and is a Twin. Then there is Hermana Hooke (Hook) from Ventura and Hermana Velasco From Boise. (Don't worry I've made all the connections) Hermana Velasco and I share the same birthday! How cool is that! She JUST graduated from high school haha So yeah I am the old and "wise" one here. The Elders are 18 and 19. There is Elder Solis (Las Vegas) Elder Cruz (Oakland) Elder Teeples (Alaska) Elder Redzich (everywhere. His Parents retired to Payson. Anyone down there know them?) Elder Arevalo (Lindon) Most of the people in my mission are going to Argentina. I am the only one I have met going to Chile, like this whole entire week I haven't met one person. Also I am traveling alone, so I get to be travel leader in charge of myself hahahaha This is really funny to me. I do get to call people from the airport! Fun surprise! So expect a call between 11 and 2 next Monday. I have to buy a calling card. Please note that everytime I call someone it deducts like 150 minutes from my card, by just calling. So in other words you'd better have your phones glued to your face. I probably wont try to call a second time....not because I don't love you....just that I don't have the minutes. One card=3 calls. So yeah....
Sunday we had a really cool fireside....that's not the right word though......DEVOTIONAL! I don't remember their names, but it was weird and German and I can't pronounce it anyway. They were mission president/wife of the Alabama Burningham mission. She told us something I thought was cool. She related a new missionary coming to their mission like parents having a new baby. They are so excited, and they already love the baby, and they can't wait for them to come. This was really reassuring to me, because I kind of just thought the mission president wouldn't really remember me because we have almost 300 missionaries in our mission. (silly me!)
Oh also after the devotional we watched this talk that Elder Bednar gave at the MTC (CCM). IT WAS AMAZING! Here is something that I learned that I want to share.
There is a difference between having a testimony and being converted. You can fall away from the church if you only have a testimony, but those that are converted won't fall away. What is conversion then you ask? Conversion is being consistent to what you know, or in other words acting according to your testimony or beliefs. You can't live on borrowed light, you have to work to come closer to Christ. How are you all demonstrating your faith, testimony and conversion? "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Almoa 23:5 Mosiah 3:19
Conversion means you are getting rid of the natural man. I think one of the ways to do that is to stop turning in, and turn out and look for the needs of others. This is what I am going to work on. It is easy here to focus on how tired you are or how you just need a break, or how you feel overwhelmed or discouraged, but I know that to be a good missionary and an effective tool for Heavenly Father I need to get rid of my natural man and look for more ways to serve. I need to stop being selfish and repent=return unto God.
Oh yeah, and this Sunday I am accompanying Hermana Tate for a musical number....and I will probably have to play the piano again for sacrament meeting....good times.....
Anyway overall I am doing really well, though I am still sick! It's super annoying!!!! I'm taking my vitamins though Jennifer, so don't even worry.
Anyway I think that is all, and I need to go and get my laundry...... I miss you all so so sooooooooo much and love you even more!!!!
Don't forget to read and pray every day!
|... I will not stalk her... I will not stalk her :)|