Friday, March 15, 2013


March 15, 2013

             For those of you who don't know, in spanish that title means health. And it's pretty much the most incredible thing ever. haha  We so easily take for granted our health but now that I'm finally back to being healthy I could nottt be more grateful!...Of course that being said, 2 other members of our district are sick now. It's really going through us here, but they seem to be on the final leg of it. 

             So the big story this week is that we got to/had to go to the Mexican Consulate to try and convince them to let us go to Mexico. So basically it was a group of 10 missionaries all going to Puebla Mexico, and i was designated as the travel leader. So i exchanged a voucher for 14 dollars in the MTC travel office, then all of us piled into a big van and they drove us down to a train station in Provo. I used the 14 dollars to buy group passes for us and then we hopped on the "Front Runner". The train was awesome. It had 2 floors and tables in front of the seats so since it was on our P-Day we just wrote letters the entire way. Then we got off the train in Draper and had to catch another train (Blue Trax) from Draper to the Ball Park stop in Salt Lake near the Bees stadium. Then we had to look at a map they had given us and figure out the way to the Consulate. Our appointment was at 3 oclock and although we caught every train right on time and practically sprinted to the consulate, we arrived at the consulate at 3......:05. so we were 5 minutes late, for which we were quickly chastized haha MIssionary life. smh. anyway, so then we took pictures and the lady had a deep hispanic accent and i couldn't understand her English and she kept saying something about my visa. Then later i realized that she was saying "cheese or no visa" like say cheese for the picture or you won't get your visa. But she was kidding.....I think. So then they called us in groups of four to go upstairs into this room where a lady was waiting and told us we were going to take a spanish test. I almost jumped out the second story window but luckily she said she was kidding just in time. But we were in for a test though, cause we sat there for 20 minutes while she asked us question after question about our missions and why we were going to mexico, where, how long, with who, under what pretence, how will we pay, where will we stay, rules, regulations, ect. At one point i even recited our missionary purpose in spanish haha she didn't think it was funny but at least it answered her question! And then we were there for about 2 hours and we were told we should be good and have our visas when we need to travel!! So we got them!!! And since we had 45 minutes before we had to catch the earliest train we walked a block down the road to Sonic to celebrate! haha REAL FOOD TASTES SO GOOD. We got to talk to so many people too! They were all mormon of course because we are in Salt Lake City, Utah but still it was so awesome to interact with real people who talked about their missions and post mission life. But let me tell you- the real world is a scary place haha as we were getting off the train there was a veryyy narrow hall way and as we were funneling down a girl about our age was rightttt next to me....I figured I didn't have to say anything until she said "hi". At which point I said, excuse me while I go into Cardiac Arrest. So i just said "hello" but then she said "so you guys are missionaries?" At which point the door opened and i walked out quickly without responding. Scary place that real world, scary place. haha but it was overall really fun and we made it back alive.

                  Soooo on Wednesday we got our TRAVEL PLANS! I'm getting on a flight in Salt Lake and laying over at Houston Intercontinental. Then I'm flying from there directly to Puebla. It's crazyyyy!! I can't belive it's already time for that! It's been hard to say goodbye to our teachers. We had to say bye to Hermano R. last night. He was our replacement teacher for Hermano P. who decided that getting married was more important than being with our district. Wierd i know. But we really liked Hermano R. and it's a bummer he is gone. 

                We got to go to this "In-field Orientation" thing yesterday about life in the real world and how to apply all the things we have learned over the long time that we have been here. Anyway at one point there was a play that they put on for us of some missionaries in "the field" and you will never guess who was in this play we watched....Elder Christiensen!!!!......oh....right....nobody knows who that is haha. Well it's the missionary from "The District" which we have been watching in class almost every day. They show us like 3 minute clips of them teaching people so we have examples, but that makes him like a celebrity to us, and probably the closest thing we will ever get to a celeb haha so we took a picture with him that I'll send so you can put it in!! But it was so cool to be like oh my gosh we have seen you soo many times out preaching the good worrrddd! haha

                So the other members of my district got to go to the consolate on Wednesday this week and that meant that everyone in our district was gone except for me and Elder G. Hermanas S and B were sick and G wasn't feeling well either. So the girls didn't even go to class which meant that class Wednesday night was Elder G, Hermano R, and I.  haha.  But it was soooo good. He was able to go over the gramatical stuff that has been hard to understand since we have been going so fast and it was like personal teaching time. We got to teach him too, and then he gave us one on one feedback on things we did well and things we could do better. Then he talked with us at the the end and shared stories about his mission and life after the mission. He even said that since there were only 2 of us, he felt comfortable sharing something from his patriarchal blessing. It was really spiritual, and he knows so much. Fun fact about him. He was called to serve in an Alabama mission and was speaking English. 6 months into the mission his mission president was instructed to switch him over to spanish....IN THE FIELD!!! So he had to learn spanish in the field when he didn't have anyyy background whatsoever! haha that was a testimony builder/comfort for me for sure. If Hermano R could learn spanish in the field, I can learn it in the MTC! Even more crazy, our district was trying to catch their train but they were late getting there and missed it. So they hopped on the second train and then they found out that the train they would have been on had to slam on its brakes and ended up hitting and killing someone on a bike who was crossing the tracks. So they were actually blessed that they weren't on the train cause a lot of people were hurt cause they fell when the train slammed on the brakes. But they had to all shuffle ff the tracks onto buses to get home and it took them like 4 hours. We are remmebering the cyclist's family in our prayers.

                 Besides that not much has happened this week. We are pretty much freeking out running around here trying to get ready to leave on Monday. Packing, haircuts, dry-cleaning our suits, packages home, Orientation, Letters, Laundry, more packing, the whole lott of it. It's hard to think that I have been with these guys for 6 weeks almost 18 hours a day and now we won't be seeing eachother for 2 years but hey, that's something i gotta get used to i guess. theres pleanty more where that came from. Next week I won't be writing till Monday cause i have P-day on Mondays in the field but the next letter you will get from me will be after my first week in Mexico! Can't believe I'm leaving already. I feel so ready, yet so unready at the same time. Hermana B was sharing her testimony this week and said something along the lines of "I have heard some of you talking about how you think you arne't ever gonna learn spanish or how you don't think you will be able to teach people very well. But how dare any of us think that we aren't able to do everything becasue we know that God prepares those whom he calls, and we have been called of God to teach people." I feel like that is so true. I feel like i have a longggg way to go with spanish and with learning to teach the lessons effectively, but don't we all have things that we are trying to work on? We have lots of shortcomings and we may not know everything, but God didn't call us thinking we would know everything or thinking that we were totally perfect. God calls those whom he calls because he knows that they have the desire and the ability to learn. Like the scripture says (and i paraphrase): "I give unto men weakness that they may be humble. And my grace is sufficient that all men who humble themselves before me....unto them i will make weak things become strong unto them."

               Ending on a spiritual note, i was in the temple this morning for the last time, possibly for 2 years, and i was in the Celestial Room thinking about faith. While in the MTC I have had many different times where i was relying a great deal on faith. I believe we have faith in more things than we think. I think this is especially true for missionaries. Since we are serving him all day every day, we have to be constantly relying on his help-whether learning the language, teaching, or anything else. Without faith that he can help us there is no way that we are going to be able to do the things he has planned for us. While sitting there in the temple I opened the bible dictionary and looked up the word faith. Again i paraphrase but the part that stood out to me was "Miracles do not produce faith, rather faith proceeds miracles...But our faith can be confirmed by miracles." A lot of the time we think that if we were to see the miracles of Christ we would be able to belive in him so much more, or we see the people in the scriptures who have seen great miracles and still fall away and we wonder how. But that's what the bible dictionary is saying. We don't get faith by seeing miracles. Yes, miracles can comfirm the faith that was already there as the "witness we get after the trial of our faith", but if we don't have faith to begin with, all the miracles in the world aren't going to change our hearts. "Faith is a hope for things which are not seen, which are true."

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