Where in the world is Ecuador?! Oh yes, there it is on the giant map. :)
I arrived safe and sound last Weds! Jack and Terry dropped me off, love love them. When the sweet lady gave me my tag I literally cried! Typical. Anyways, everything seems like a blur. Weeks feel like days and days feel like weeks. The MTC really is a time warp. So I'm assigned to West campus (WEST SIIIIDE, represent!) We always throw up the W. True gangstas, that we are. Es puro espanol por aca. All the kids that are going Spanish speaking are here on this campus. So every time you pass anyone you're like, "holaaaa!". There's like 500-something on this campus. It's like 5 mins away from the main campus (which has WAAAAY better food, but we have better dorms so HA).
I literally forgot how to pray in English, I tried yesterday and I forgot. We always speak in Spanish. I'm the only white gurrrrl in my district. The rest are straight Latinos. Hermana Cardenas from Arizona (going to Raleigh, NC) and Hermana Del Valle from Tampico, Mexico (going to Mesa, AZ) were my companions up until last night, when I got a new one, Hermana Medina from Houston, TX (holla, fellow texan! Elder Metso is Texan too, he went to UNT and has the COOLEST conversion story) and she's headed Monterrey, Mexico we immediately bonded over our past lives and our bubbly personalities. hashtag bffs. Anyways, everyone always asks, "y usted como sabe el espanol?!" since I'm the whitest person ever (my spray tan faded). No but really, all the guys are like from Peru, DR, Mexico, etc. I met a guy headed to Costa RICAAAA! I was so excited. Oh, Elder Ibarra is from the Mormon Colonies in Mexico and he went to La Cacademia too!! We know lots of the same peeps. OH AND MY DISTRICT PRES IS PRESIDENT CALL, who's mom was besties with Grandma Nellie! And Great Gpa Claudious bought land from his parents down in Dublan, Mexico! Talk about small world.........
We leave here on MONDAY. MOOOONDAAAYYYYY, aka I'm more than half way done with my mtc experience. There is a whopping total of 1 people in my travel group, so that's gonna be weird since I'm used to being with mi companera 24/7. I have a layover in ATL, GA at liiiike 11am? So fam, please keep y'alls phones on loud because I'll get to call yall.
It's like EFY on steroids, so cool. Our district is literally like family, we are all so close. Everyone's personal conversion story is so so cool. Really incredible people I have been blessed to learn from. There's like 15 of us. and the new "freshmen" as we like to call them (new missionaries) come in tomorrow. It's craaaay to think that we're SEEEENYAS already here. I cannnot imagine being here at the MTC for 4 or 6 or even 12 weeks.
AHHHH I saw Ty Cook my homie from Allen. It was crazy because I was having a tough morning so I said a prayer for comfort, and just to know that I could survive the day, and then 2 minutes later when I went to refill my cup with caffeine free diet coke, LO AND BEHOLD THERE HE WAS. It was really cool to see a familiar face. And I saw Josh Ledbetter from EFY! It was soSOSO hard not to hug them. Most enthusiastic handshakes I've ever given, ha. I took pics but they're on my comp's camera aaaaand idk how to get them on this ancient computer soooooo, lo siento.
K so schedule wise: we have bfast at 6:30 and class from 7am till 10:30am. Study time, lunch, study time for 1 hour, class again, dinner at 4 PM (which is crazy because then we're dying by the time 10pm rolls around), role play, a devotional, (my favorites ever.), zone teaching, meetings, etc, etc etc. Feels like we eat then sit, then eat then sit. Thank goodness for gym time because that BYU Creamery ice cream is like reaaaaalllly good. Every second is planned out, and nap time is not included. 6:30am-10:30pm, without caffeine. Prayers work WAY better than caffeine though. Personal study time is GOLD, because there's literally sosososoooo much to learn with so little time it feels. Except maaaaybe sometimes Personal Study Time sorta kinda turns into "personal study the inside of my eyelids" time. Haha but I love love love any time we get to study.
I literally haven't even cracked open my English scriptures since I got here. And my Spanish ones have post-its sticking out everywhere and 4903 different colors highlighted. I never leave home without them. Before my mish, I wanted to read the BOM in espanol, buuuut i couldn't really understand it very well for some reason, but now, I eat it up! I'm so thankful for a deeper love and understanding for the gospel en espanol. I'm 100% sure that it is the Spirit, so I can't take any credit at all.
Our maestros (teachers) are so so dope. Hermana Child is our morning teacher and she's such a sweetheart. She doubles as Flor, our progressing investigator who we prepare lessons for and teach every day. Then there's Hermano Larson, who siempre tiene "la razon" hahah, (he's always right) he's Joao, our other investigator from Brazil. PREACH MY GOSPEL IS THE COOLEST BOOK EVER. Well, obviously the Book of Mormon takes the cake, but PMG is suUch an incredible resource and my new best friend. I've learned that without the Spirit, lessons are pretty much pointless. We are truly INSTRUMENTS in God's hands. It is soooo nooooot about me. Nothing at all is about me. Like, this is all Christ and Heavenly Father working through me. Even my study time is devoted to others.
Miracles happen daily, and my testimony of prayer has skyrocketed. We memorize lots of stuff here. So far I've got the missionary purpose, 1st vision, and a ton of other scriptures down paaaat. We did the whole "write it on the board like scripture mastery friday's and erase one word at a time" thing to learn them. Shoutout to Sister Summerhays for putting up with me in seminary class. Now I appreciate scripture mastery. Especially when you get called on to give a impromptu talk......... yeah, that was really helpful.
Wow, this is the most English I've spoken/written in soooo long. Dang. I wrote so much stuff down in my journal to include in my email but now my mind is going blank.
"Never postpone a prompting" is probably one of the most prevalent statements in my life right now. SO many blessings come when you just listen to the Spirit. AND The Lord gives you more and more opportunities as you respond to those promptings. Love the gospel, Love IIIttttt.
I'm learning so much about people, and also the gospel. I'm so thankful I'm here. It's been kinda hard adjusting buuuuut that's expected, right?! I know without a doubt that this is where I'm supposed to be. Selflessness and humility are qualities I am definitely developing. AND PATIENCE OH MY GOODNESS companions are a blessing but they also offer interesting learning experiences, ha.
It's been real nice with no snow, THANK HEAVENS. We pray all the time. Like before class, during class, after class... before gym, after gym, when we leave the apt, when we wake up, before study, during study. it's sweet. I've learned to truly rely on the Lord for everything. I am so thankful for this gospel and I'm learning new things about it everyday. I cry a lot because the spirit is so strong, and I have felt it SO incredibly strong as I look investigators in the eye and testify of the truth. I don't know much, but I know that this church is true. :)
We get to hear L Tom Perry speak tonight, I'm SOOOOOOOO STOKED. I love that guy so much. Yay. Perks of being at the Provo MTC. WOOO
AH I HAD THE COOLEST EXPERIENCE AT THE TEMPLE TODAY. Ps, I got to add Provo temple to my list of temples visited.
It's so cool to learn from all the people in my district. The Elders are so awesome, they're the biggest gentlemen ever. They open doors, take our trays, are way respectful, and are the sweeeeeeetest guys ever. Latinos hold themselves to a higher standard of caballero-ness. Logan, Michael and Benji, yall better step it up, boys. Our DLs and ZLs are way way dope people, biggest testimonies. I would attach pics but I can't save them to this computer since it's like super lockdown filtered craziness. :( sowee
I already lost one of my nametags, so anyone who bet I wouldn't last a week without doing that is gonna be a few dollars richer, hah.
Oh yeah, and I went cold turkey on caffeine and had to go off campus to hunt some diet coke down today since it's pday... Withdrawals are not a fun thing. HA
OKAY ALSO I FORGOT BOTH MY CAMERA AND IPOD SO I'M VERY DEPRIVED AT THE MOMENT. and I keep getting phantom vibration syndrome. google it, its real...
I pray for all y'all and I miss all y'all. I know for sure that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be. I am so so blessed.
I'm so so thankful for the gospel, especially for the Restauracion del evangelio y la profeta jose smith. Nosotros hemos enfocado mucho en eso la semana pasada y se con toda mi alma que es la verdad. Tambien se que nosotros tenemos un Padre Celestial que nos ama tanto, y nos conoce perfectamente, mas que nosotros creemos que nos conocemos. Y tambien, se que mi hermano mayor JesuCristo murio por mi, y que solo por medio de El, podemos llegar a regresar al cielo con nuestro amado Padre Celestial.
I keep going back to what my setting apart blessing said, there was so so much helpful inspired advice. I LOVE my Patriarchal blessing too.
K times upppppppppppppppppppppppppp
I forgot a lot of stuff -- but, oh well.
Next time I email, I'll be in ECUAAAa, holler. YA TU SABBBESSSSSS (You already know. Our district motto. You say it in a Puerto Rican accent como el Elder Pagan) the other motto is SI SE PUEDE (YES YOU CAN) we're lame I know.
Write me. About anything. Your lunch, puppies, the weather, I wanna hear from all y'all.
The Seniors from last week that just left!