I love Wednesdays when I get to email you! It's one of my favorite hours of the week!
As you hopefully know by now, I will not know about my reassignment until tomorrow or Friday. I will email you at the soonest chance I get. Any guesses as to where it will be?! I'm excited for anywhere!
Our last few days are flying by. Tomorrow is our last class with Hermano Lunt. On Friday we have in-field training and on Saturday he has a wedding to go to (Lame right? What kind of wedding could be more important than us?). We're super sad about it. He and Hermano Hardy really are awesome and I'm going to miss all of their wisdom and pep talks and spirit. It's just so great to be able to see people in an environment like this where we are all focused on the spirit and we get to see the best of each other. Hermano Hardy said yesterday that he's maybe more casual with us than he maybe should be because we're so cool and Hermano Lunt said we are easy to teach (about as close to he'll get to telling us we're his favorites). So basically, they like us best lol. Hermano Hardy tried to get permission to play volleyball with us Friday night (it would have been perfect because with he and Hermano Lunt we would've had 12 people!) but they wouldn't let him. :( The teachers from the other district came to visit them at the temple though on Monday with their spouses and we're trying to get them to both bring a girlfriend to visit us lol. Yeah, we're pretty much like kindergarteners who get excited when we see our teachers outside of class, and when we get chocolate.
Here are some highlights from the week:
Friday: We had companion exchanges. Hermana Alley and I got to spend the day together. Hermano Lunt thought it would be funny to put the worst Spanish speakers in the class together. He almost made us teach Cris as well (Hermano Lunt aka the hardest investigator in the world). Luckily, we convinced him to give us Jose (Hermano Hardy aka super sweet, spiritual investigator). Yes, I know, I should learn from the more difficult investigators and that is more realistic etc. etc. etc. I "went" to Hermana Alley's area and Hermana Redford went to my area. So basically, I was teaching Jose but it wasn't my Jose it was Hermana Alley's Jose. Haha, that probably doesn't make sense. At first I didn't take the whole exchange thing as seriously and I probably should have but by the end of the day I was really understanding how I can use opportunities like that to learn from someone else and find new things to take my back to my area and companionship.
That afternoon Hermano Lunt taught us about teaching investigators not lessons. I got a little discouraged about how to do it all. I'm supposed to use How to Begin Teaching: teach the lesson, but rely on the spirit, relate it back to the investigator, pause for inspiration ask inspired questions. It was all just so much and I began to doubt. Teaching about the gospel is a lot different than teaching kindergarten. I'm not just teaching I'm converting. I can't just give them knowledge I have to help them change their lives and become new people. I guess if I'm a good teacher I should do that for my kindergarten students as well. It is just a little intimidating when I think about my influence on their eternal salvation. I really just need to continue to learn to trust in the Lord; give him all my effort, work and planning and then when I get into the lesson, just trust that he will help me. It's scary to think that I HAVE to receive revelation in the lesson and if I am not ready it will not work but if I am doing what I am supposed to, I shouldn't fear.
On Friday I got a little discouraged again but the Hermanas cheered me up with all their happiness and silliness. And chocolate! We've taken to taking a little break before language study to go to the room and get some chocolate. It does wonders lol. Speaking of chocolate, Hermano Hardy gives all the elders a hug when he leaves but he only gives us Hermanas a handshake (obviously), so we found some chocolate hugs in our candy stash and gave him a chocolate hug when he shook our hands. It was great. :)
We've also taken to calling every day fat day or fiesta day. So we used to have Fat Friday when we would eat pizza. Then we came to Fiesta Friday which sometimes falls on Saturday or Thursday depending on when we get the best packages, where we just eat sugar that we get from wonderful families like you. We also have fat p-day since they have french toast for breakfast and last week they had pizza and ice cream for lunch. Don't worry, I'm still trying to eat mostly healthy, but as our time is winding down we're also celebrating the food that we know we won't get when we have to make it ourselves out in the field lol.
Friday we played some awesome volleyball outside. I also wrote a paragraph to Elder Hutching's brother in his letter since he's already planned our wedding. We're going to jump out of an airplane and hang-glide into the Hawaii temple sealing room. Pretty legit right? Haha Elder Hutchings and Frampton and their district left early this morning. We're definitely going to miss them. They were some of the nicest elders in our zone and such gentlemen. AH! Speaking of our zone! Guess what! We're getting dissolved. :( They're sending as many Spanish missionaries as they can down to Mexico and the rest are heading over to the west campus. We will not get any more districts so there are only three left and each week they'll just lose another one. A big part of our calling as Sister Training Leaders involves new districts so we won't get to experience that part of our calling, but we can make the most of what we do have. It's also sad to think of all of our traditions dying away, like eating in the cool kids' part of the cafeteria and singing "God Be with You" every Sunday night with the departing district. Luckily we were able to get to know all the awesome people we did though.
On Sunday we spent a solid hour watching Mormon messages and watching mormon.org videos. It was wonderful. We also looked each other up on mormon.org. It was great (and don't worry, it was totally spiritually uplifting as well.) I wouldn't mind it if I could look you up on mormon.org though either *hint* *hint*. :) None of us got called on to speak this last Sunday which means this upcoming Sunday I probably have a 1 in 4 chance (especially high since I'm a hermana). I'm going to have to make sure my talk is awesome. Our zone is also singing "Nearer, My God, to Thee" together. It took us a while to agree on a hymn but it will be great.
Yesterday we got to SKYPE with members for Teaching Resource Center! It was pretty fun. Some of our district got to talk with a native in Mexico. We talked with a man living in Texas. He was white (but he was born in Buenos Aires). It was pretty fun.
Oh! Wanna hear something awesome? Hermana Gardner and I made a friend! His name is Gus Gus and he likes to study with us. He's a mouse. One day we found him in the bush next to our bench by the tree of life and last night we're pretty sure we heard him say goodnight to us on our way back from saying goodnight to the Hermanas when we were the only ones left outside. He's pretty cute.
We are loving visiting the Hermanas every night and getting to know them. It's still an adventure every time trying to get into their building. Last week we borrowed a key from some hermanas outside the building but we had to return it. Since there are two doors you have to unlock with the key I had to hold one while Hermana Gardner returned the key and then when she came to the door I ran and opened that door and sprinted back to the other one before it closed on us. We died laughing about how secret agent like we were.
On Sunday we watched an awesome talk by Elder Bednar about the Character of Christ. He pointed out how even in Christ's last hours on earth, as he suffered unbearable pain, he was constantly thinking of others. That is a quality I would really like to develop on my mission and turn outwards toward others when times get hard instead of turning inward like the natural man would. Elder Bednar is all about putting off the natural man which is all about being selfish. He brought up the saying that we should be the greatest convert of our mission but he said that if that is our focus it won't happen because we become converted as we focus on others. It was pretty awesome. I just hope I can change from it and become better. I told Hermana Gardner all about Mom and how she is totally like that and is always thinking of others.
Our Tuesday night devotional last night was by an emeritus general authority, John K. Carmack. He spoke about being a missionary and read a letter about a missionary whose trainer used the last half hour of the day to keep working and all about what that taught that missionary and how he kept that habit up and the results that came of it. I want to make sure every minute of my day is focused on my purpose. He said, "It was never an option to break the mission rules". I LOVE that! It really shouldn't be an option and watching people break them here; sometimes I start to think I can too, but it's kind of like making the decision not to drink or do drugs before the decision comes up. I can decide right now that I will never break even the smallest rule like going to bed or waking up etc.
I mentioned last week that the elders get a little frustrating, but I've also noticed some awesome changes in them. Elder Pederson is right out of high school and has his own language (yeah I'm dead serious) that can kind of get annoying but he has really been studying diligently and really working hard and I respect him so much for his efforts to be a good missionary and his strong testimony. These elders really are an example to me and I can learn so much from them.
The language is coming along. I'm not quite as discouraged now. We're working on subjunctive right now which is a little tricky and with all the different conjugations it gets difficult to put into sentences. To make a correct sentence I have to think of the tense and the conjugation tree and by the time I figure it out I've forgotten what I wanted to say in the first place but I'm not so discouraged any more. I'm also I little glad that I might get to be eased into the language here in the states.
Well, my time is up. On a spiritual note: The first half of Alma with the stories of Alma and the sons of Mosiah might be my favorite stories in the BOM!
I love you lots! Thank you for all the letters and pictures. You are the best. Hopefully you'll hear from me tomorrow! I'll get my new address out asap!
P.S. Bryon, Jen asked me to post this just for you!