Sunday, September 16, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I don't even know where to start. I can't believe this is my fourth day here. Wednesday is pretty much all a blur at this point. After we met our companions and district, we went to the MTC Presidency welcome meeting. We opened the meeting with "We'll Bring the World His Truth" and instead of singing, "We will be the Lord's missionaries..." we sang, "We are now the Lord's missionaries..." and I just broke down. The Spirit here is so strong and everything makes me cry.
I'm in a trio, so instead of having just one companion, I have two. It's the strangest thing ever. Who knew you could feel like a third wheel in your companionship? Hermana Wilcox is from Provo. She's so excited about being here though, and sooo friendly. Her dad is the mission president in the Santiago Chile Mission; that's where she learned most of her Spanish. Hermana Barrera is from Houston, but her parents are from Mexico, so she grew up most of her life speaking Spanish. They're both going to Spain too, but we're all in different missions. I'm not used to having to be with somebody literally 24/7 and it's definitely taking some patience, biting my tongue, and lots of prayer. Our district is awesome. It's us, plus four other Elders. They all learned Spanish the same time they learned English, so I definitely feel like the least experienced in our whole district. Yesterday I just broke down and spent most of the day crying because the language is so frustrating for me. That wasn't a challenge I was expecting because I felt so confident in my Spanish speaking abilities, until I came here. Half the time during class I don't know what's going on and I hardly participate because I don't know what to say. I have all these thoughts and feelings in my head, but don't know how to get them out in Spanish and it's so hard! I had a one-on-one with my coordinating sister, Hermana Seely, yesterday and told her about my struggles with the language. She assured me that my call was not a mistake. She told me that the Lord didn't call me to fail. He called me to speak Spanish, not English and I need to stop being so hard on myself. It's hard though, when I feel like everyone is so far ahead of me. But I'm learning that the only thing I have control over is my attitude and the sooner I stop being negative about my weaknesses, the sooner I'll be able to get to work and make the most out of my time here. Literally EVERYONE has been telling us that if we can just make it to Sunday we'll be fine. We've heard soo many times that the first week is the absolute hardest. I can understand those who pack up and want to leave because it is seriously one of the hardest thing I've ever done. I can't wait til tomorrow though. I need to be built up and reassured that I can do this.

Our teachers are mostly great. Brother Adams was a former athiest and super stubborn. He told us his conversion story and it was INCREDIBLE. Of course, I cried the whole time. It's a long story, but after less than two months of being taught by the missionaries he was baptized and then a year and two weeks later he reported to the MTC to serve a full-time mission and now he's a teacher at the MTC. The rest of his family is still atheist and they don't want to have anything to do with that part of life. His testimony is so strong though and I feel like if somebody like he used to be could come to know the truthfulness of this gospel, anybody can. I love Brother Adams. We can tell he really wants to be here for us and he loves this church with all he is.

My departure date is October 2nd, but I heard they're having lots of trouble with the Spain visas though, so if I don't get to leave on the 2nd, I'll most likely be reassigned somewhere in the States til my visa comes. And I have my release date! It's February 19, 2014.
I love it here, even when I don't. It's hard, but I know it'll get better. I love this gospel so much and I'm so grateful for all the opportunities I'm having and will have to share it with others. 

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