Serving in the Mexico Mérida Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I Am So Happy

Hola Mama,

I am so happy. I was expecting to learn a lot in the MTC but I wasn't expecting the way it feels here. I've never felt the Spirit so richly before.

It's also weird how easy it is to love everybody. It's like my capacity to love has just BANG exploded for the other missionaries and my leaders and for the role-play investigators and even just the investigators I read about. I never realized how much I appreciate good people and there are so many of them. OH-- if you've got time, you should go online and look up the New York Times Project called '1 in 8 million' which is a whole collection of these 5-minute character portrait/ interviews of people from New York. We watched a few in our 'People and Your Purpose' workshop. It is so cool how people are NOT THE SAME and they all have different good things about them and different needs. As a class we found things about them that pleased Heavenly Father and then also the things that he would want to help them with. I was like 'Wow, I LOVE these people.'  And also, there's a Mormon message we watched called 'Lifting Burdens' and it just summed up all the reasons I want people to have the gospel, all the incredible things it does for people.

I've kind of realized that being prepared to go on a mission is not so much about knowing the gospel well or knowing good principles of teaching. It's a lot more being in the spiritual mindset to realize what you don't know and then learn it and do it. It's like every day I am learning three or four huge lessons that for some reason I missed the rest of my life... or thought I knew, but didn't really GET... it's pretty great. I'm glad Heavenly Father makes my problems so obvious to me. :)   Even though half the time I'm overwhelmed with all the stuff I need to work on, the other half I feel like the mission thing is actually doable because Christ has promised missionaries that they are CAPABLE of doing what He wants. Thank goodness. I do wish I knew more scriptures.

Okay, Ava will get mad at me for talking about church stuff. Life-y life is great too-- I have a little foursome groupie of girls that I hang out with all the time from my district (we room together) and I LOVE them. They're all so GOOD. My companion se llama Hermana G. I'm sure glad I don't have to teach lessons by myself because sometimes I think ideas are great and they're not. :) She is a lovely lovely girl and super cute, right out of high school (hopefully her camera will work and I can show you pictures). Le quiero.
Y the two other girls I love so much, too, Hermana C y Hermana W. For some reason, we are all so comfortable with each other and we're definitely friends-friends on top of being missionary friends. It's not that often that I can point to someone and say 'Wow! That person is an example to me!' but Hermana C is just a gorgeous person-- she can make people feel good without making it seem like she's trying, and she can be an example of being obedient without being affected and everyone just kind of jumps on the bandwagon, and when people are complaining she just subtly says something positive and the whole nature of the conversation changes. I want to be like her. :)

You girls will be jealous because I can drink chocolate milk every day. (Although I refrain jeje). And everyone told me the food was bad but it's really nice food, I don't know what they were talking about. Also, the MTC is a lot cozier than I thought. I was expecting it to be super sterile like a convent or something but it's a nice mix or a church building and an elementary school classroom. Here is some news... in two weeks, I'm moving to the MTC West because they are trying to move all foreign language missionaries out of the main campus so they can free up the buildings to renovate. It's one of those things they haven't officially announced to anyone, even to the Branch Presidencies, so we are all rather scarce on the details of what in the world is going on. I'll let you know when my address changes...

Man, I love my Branch Presidency. So much coolness in three people. The one I interviewed with last night was President M. and I've definitely never met a church leader like Him. I don't know how to describe him and still convey how much I like him, but he's ADHD and kind of a hipster and SO good at talking to people and making them feel like they are cool people too. You just feel like he likes you, so you act more likable. We talked for a LONG time in our interview. He lived in Morristown for a while and he has a a daughter who is a wonder-woman and a brilliant statistician and who he loves like none other and he really touched me by saying that talking to me reminded Him of talking to her. He wanted to meet Dad.

I haven't talked to the second counselor, but the President is something else. He had each of us go up to the front of the room and introduce ourselves and whether we were musical and about why we were serving a mission. And while people are up there, he just tells people all the stuff that is wrong about them. It's great. He's like 'Take your hands out of your pockets.' 'Unbutton your second button unless you want to look like a nerd.' 'Stop chewing gum.' 'Take that smiley face button off your suit.' Also, any time the elders stand up in his presence they have to button their coats as they stand up. And he'll just interrupt his other counselors all the time. I can't tell you much I love him. I always feel so much better when people in charge of you just tell you like it is. It's scarier when they are just nice all the time and you don't know what they're thinking.

Please tell Dad that my sneakers are holding up really good so THANK YOU! There are no mp3s in the bookstore, but I think someone around here has a speaker with a USB so I'll try that and let you know if it works. Thank you for giving me so many of your goodies!And tell Ava that I am using her pens like crazy. My notes are getting very intricate plus I just like writing letters and journals in colors.

Aw, M sent me a really nice card and a pillowslip with all those things that you're supposed to do on your mission and a little bookmark with good scripture references for all of the big gospel concepts. I was really touched. And THANKS mum for your letter. Getting mail is sure a big deal and it was so great to get something from you. Oh-- they don't put dates on the letters so you might want to type those into the body of your letter. (I forgot!)

Such Sweet Sorrow...
You know how I was asking you whether I should bring my little Novartis pulley keychain? Guess what everyone ends up buying here. You need your card to get into every building plus your key to get into your room and not everything has pockets... Also wishing I brought more sweaters because I think I will be wearing my black one every day until I leave. It's cold, man.  Of course none of those things really bother me, but in case anyone else wants to learn from my mistakes...

By the way, I think I decided we should do a blog. My presidency keeps telling us that one of the biggest reasons we're on a mission is to share our mission through writing home. So I'll leave to your discretion how much/whether/what you want to post. Maybe at the end of the letter you can paraphrase some stuff. Thanks mum. :)

Sorry this letter is so long, I won't do that all the time. I have a whole hour to write and nobody else wrote me. Plus, I just had a lot to tell you. Hna G and I tried to upload pictures, but it's not reading the camera. Lo siento, we'll keep trying.

Mucho Amor,

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