Monday, October 28, 2013

#1 Letter from Ecuador

I don`t even know where to start. What a week! The CCM seems like months ago. Well.... Hmm...
Leaving the CCM broke my heart, as was expected. All of us Guayaquil goers lined up at 10 at night to go to the bus to the airport. I only really knew Hermana Fox, and everyone else was buddy buddy. So that freaked me out a bit. But we flew, and I was exhausted the entire time. Keep in mind, I woke up at 6 that morning, left at 10 that night, and I hardly remember what a nap is. We flew all night, and when we got to Bogota, we saw a bunch of other sisters with name tags. They all rushed up to us and did the whole cheek touch air kiss thing, which is so unfamiliar to me! They were so sweet!

We got to Guayaquil and holy mackeral humidity. I thought I knew what humidity was, but boy was I wrong. It felt like breathing marshmallow fluff. The air is so thick and wet! I doubt I will ever get used to it.
President and Sister Amaya are so great! I didn`t understand all that they said, but they are very kind and encouraging, We have to wear knee highs! It`s for the bugs, but man.... it is so hot! I have been physically uncomfortable for a week straight. I honestly have not stopped sweating since I got here. But I love it!

I was assigned to an area called Bellavista in the city of Milagro. It`s so weird, in empty lots, instead of weeds or rocks, there will be bright purple flowers growing. There are a million dogs here, as well as millions of piles of ... dog evidence. Seriously, everyone has a dog.

Hello, I haven`t even talked about my compañera! Her name is Hermana Diez, and she`s from Peru! I`m the fifth hermana she`s trained, so she`s basically a pro. She talks to me only in Spanish, unless she needs to explain something to me, which is great, because I`ve learned a lot from her. BUT. They don`t speak Spanish here. I`m not 100% sure what language they`re speaking, but it`s definitely not what I learned in the CCM. They drop their "s"s and and everything is slurred together. My most repeated phrase is "Por favor, repite, màs despacio." Sometimes that helps, but usually I have to look at Hermana Diez and she repeats it in Spanish. I can understand her pretty well, but I don`t know how in the world I will learn Ecuadorian Spanish! Whenever we eat somewhere though, they ask me to say the prayer. I can pray in Spanish, but then after I pray they assume I can understand Spanish and they ask me something and I get the deer-in-the-headlights look.

Food! Every lunch, we eat at a member or part-member home. We walk or take a taxi, and there`s nothing quite like a hot bowl of soup when you`ve been wilting in the sun. Every meal starts with a big bowl of soup. It`s so good though, so different. There`s usually potato, and then chunks of cheese and sometimes noodles. On my third day, I had the soup that Mindy made for the throwdown! It was less peanutty, and it had shrimp in it, and we ate it over rice, but it was the same basic thing! So good!
I have had a lot of people ask me if I`ve ever had rice before, and they`re always surprised to hear that yes, we do eat rice in the United States.

The people are so curious about the US, and when I tell them I`m from Vegas, their faces light up and they say "casinos, no!?" They ask if it`s pretty, if there are lots of blondes, etc. One investigator questioned me about the price of clothes. This same investigator gave us four huge, juicy pineapples for free! We butchered one up that night and wow it was the best pineapple I`ve ever had. I may send pictures of the event if I have time.

We had two baptisms on Saturday (no one I had ever taught, but I`m counting them as mine..). They were both jovenes, one named Glorita, the other Luis. Glorita`s older sister (17 or so years old) and was baptized not too long ago, and their parents just gave permission for Glorita to also be baptized. Now, we`re working on the parents! Their parents came to the baptism and to the confirmation in church the next day, and were very emotional. They seem like really good people, and Glorita and Celita are angels! When I first met them, they combed through my hair with their fingers and telling me how pretty it was. That`s another question I`ve gotten a lot of, if my hair color is natural. They are so amazed when I say yes. My hair is the first thing all the girls bring up when I meet them. Luis is so great! He is 18. His mother gave him permission to be baptized, and she came. She`s very unsettled about the church and I think she`s worried about "losing" her son. We went and visited her and offered to teach her more about what her son had learned. I`m not really sure how she`s feeling about it, and it`s hard because she runs a little store and is always busy. I led the music for the baptism. No one here plays piano! The hymns sound rough. I`m tempted to ask to play just the top hand for sacrament meetings because you hear every possible key (and some impossible keys) when we sing.

It turns out I do stand out here a bit. I have seen exactly ONE person taller than me here, and he`s fifteen. Everyone else is tiny. Because I stand out, I have gotten some unwanted attention. There are certain places that we don`t pass by because I get followed around. It`s not great, but I`ve never felt worried about my safety. Sometimes there will be men gathered in an area and they start shouting at me in English. "Disney princess, Disney princess, come talk to me!" or "White niña what is up?" Some drunk guy followed us for a bit saying "Soy mormòn, soy mormon, talk to me!" Actually, we see this guy a lot. He hangs out around the houses of the members who give us references. Whenever we`re waiting for a taxi, without fail, every face in the car is looking at me until they pass. It`s a bit unnerving. On the bus ride to Milagro, a man was sitting in front of me, and he kept looking back at me. He was very conspicuous, but I didn`t really mind until some people got off the bus and he moved seats and sat with his entire body facing back, and just stared at me. He didn`t even try to hide that he was staring directly at me, so finally I started staring back, just to make him stop. It didn`t work. I was very uncomfortable for the next 20 minutes of this bus ride. I wasn`t really sure what to do. So that was interesting.

The work! The youth here are so great. Last night, we had one kid, Manuel, who came with us to visit his friends that he had given us as references. We talk to their parents as well. Everyone is willing to listen to us, but not many are willing to keep commitments. We spent a lot of the day Saturday going around and committing people to go to church. We made plans as to what time they need to go to bed, wake up, etc. Sunday morning, we called and visited houses, woke people up... and like 3 people came. No investigators though.

Hmm what else? Oh yeah, no hot water. There`s also a naked woman on our shower door... Our apartment is pretty nice though, one of the nicest one`s I`ve been in here. No one here has a dishwasher. I haven`t seen a single one. Even the nicest homes don`t have air conditioning, but I guess everyone`s pretty used to the heat. I walk into their homes completely drenched in sweat every time, but everyone seems to not notice the heat.

Here`s a fun fact. There`s an amazing family in the ward, the Torres family. The son David is a RM, and he basically runs the ward. Seriously, he`s awesome. He served in Rancagua, Chile, and knows Hayden Cooper (and David Archuleta, I`m pretty sure...)! Also, there`s an Hermana here from Arizona that knows Haley Flenner. Being a member makes this a small world!

What else! I`m going to need specific questions, I don`t know what to say. I love it. It`s hard, and boy am I tired. Plus, I`m confused 96% of the time, but it`s all good. The worst thing is when people try to talk to me in English. Their English is harder to understand than their Spanish haha, but it`s very sweet.

Picture time!  Before you look at the pictures, let me explain something. If you had people whistling at you and little girls fawning over you when you looked like a greasy hobo, would you bother doing your hair or makeup?
Sorry to all the dozens of single attractive men that are surely reading my blog, but things are going to get ugly.

*note from mom - The pictures didn't come through.  I will post them next week if she resends them.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

# 6 Letter from CCM Mexico City

I am so sad to be leaving my beloved CCM, but I´m starting to get more and more excited to go, little by little. We watched the MTC devotional live from the Provo MTC. It was Dallin H. Oaks and man that guy is bold. Bold and bald. I loved it. It was all about why we say we are the only true and living church in the world. In case you were wondering, it´s because we have the fulness of the gospel, the power of the priesthood, and a unique and complete testimony of Christ. It was so interesting and just got me pumped!

Guess who´s the new sister leader/trainer/whatever it´s called?!
Not me! My companion is though, so I get to sit in on the zone meetings and get to know all the girls in my branch! It´s been pretty fun.

I have one final story about my choir leading experience. So, this Sunday was when we sang the musical number. On Saturday we practiced for 40 minutes, and it sounded pretty good. Then, Saturday night, we sang a closing hymn with our teachers. Hermana Martinez is studying vocal performance, so I wanted to see what she had to say. So we sang Conmigo Quedaté, Señor as the closing song without a piano. I encouraged the Elderes beforehand to sing their parts (the hermanas are doing soprano and I was the only alto so we were good). It was awful! Our teachers smiled and told us that it was good, but that´s just because they are nice. It was so bad, and I got so nervous, especially because we wouldn´t have time to practice before singing in sacrament meeting. So I went over the parts again without a piano and hoped it got stuck in their heads.

Sunday morning, we line up, and the first verse is kinda rough. The elderes weren´t hitting their parts and I thought I was going to pop a vein in my forehead, especially because we had practiced so much! But then the second verse was okay. We planned to end the last verse a cappella, and I almost wanted to motion to the pianist somehow and tell him to keep playing. The piano directly faces a wall though, so I would have looked really ridiculous. So the pianist stopped playing for the final chorus - and it was gorgeous. Seriously, it was so perfect. The wives of our branch presidency teared up, so I think that´s a good sign. They came up to us and told us how great they did, and I acted modest but secretly I loved it when everyone would say "It was all Hermana Rust!" I gotta work on that whole pride thing....  But teaching teenage boys to sing parts a cappella is no small task!

On Saturday, during coaching time, the main suggestion that Hermano Rangel gave me and Hermana Fox was to express love for our investigators, both the love that Heavenly Father has for them, and our love for the as well. I am fine saying that Heavenly Father loves you, but you know me, I feel weird saying anything remotely like that to anyone. That night (I believe it was Saturday night), Hermana Martinez and Hermano Rangel stood outside the door and Hermano Rangel hugged all the elders and shook all the sister´s hands and Hermana Martinez hugged the sisters and shook the elders hands, and they told us they loved us. It doesn´t sound like some big revolutionary thing, but I loved it, and we were all pretty giddy on our walk home. Granted, we´re always giddy on our walk home, just because it´s finally bedtime, but we had some extra pep that day.

Anyway, Hermana Martinez was teaching us Tuesday when we had a little bit of extra time. She gathered us around the computer and had us watch a video on the LDS website by Sister Madsen about expressing love to her students. Sister Madsen would stand at the door and tell each individual student that she loved them. She told us that she had never seen that video until Sunday at church, the day after she and Hermano Rangel stood at the door and told each of us they loved us.  So.... moral of this story is expressing love is important, and Hermana Martinez is awesome.

Oh yeah, I finally got called on to speak this Sunday in District meeting. We have to prepare a talk every week, and then just announce who will be speaking. So I spoke, and afterwards, the counselor came up to me and told me that my Spanish was very impressive. So that was great!
I still get down on myself from time to time when things don´t go perfectly or when I can´t express myself as well as I want to during lessons, but I´m doing so less and less. Progress! 

The temple was so wonderful! That´s really all there is to say about the temple, that it´s wonderful and peaceful, but that´s what keeps on going through my mind right now. I love it so much. There was one little latina there who looked just like Grandma Skousen, same hair and similar faces and everything, she was just a bit shorter (who would´ve thought it was possible to be shorter than Grandma Skousen?). So that made me happy too. I just got the letter of your talk from Grandpa´s funeral. I loved what you said so much! In the temple I saw a cute little man who´s tag said Sellador on the bottom (I think that´s what it said, and I think that means sealer, but I could be way off). What a great title and opportunity to have. I love the temple!

I love you all, thanks for sending me emails and letters!

P.S. If Brooke reads this, let her know I JUST got her letter and it made me happy and I´ll try to have a response sent out within the next two days.

This first picture is for Brooke... ¡Alto en fibre!

These are two of my favorite hermanas, Hermana White and Hermana Eastman who will be serving in Ventura, California. They came and visited our classroom yesterday so we had to take a picture. Also, there are rumors of moms of people I mention in emails finding my blog, so here´s a picture. I love these Hermanas so much!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

#5 Letter from Mexico City CCM

Okay, remember how I told you about how we were doing a musical number? Our branch was assigned to prepare the musical number for the weekly CCM class, taught by the CCM Presidency. It´s a decently big deal I think. Well, remember how I had to raise my voice in order to capture everyone´s attention? Two practices later, things were still not going great, but it was starting to come together. We were singing the EFY medley in Spanish, and the parts where we combine were really rough. People were starting and ending at the wrong spots and it was scary, but the Hermana in charge didn´t want to lead the music for the actual number because she didn´t feel comfortable. She announced this and then we sung one more time, without a leader. It was... awful. ´This was on Saturday evening, and we were performing Sunday morning. So after the practice.... I went up to her and told her that I would love to lead the music. I was worried that she would think that I was taking over her duties and that I was being rude, but she was so thankful! We had about half an hour to practice Sunday morning before we had to sing the song. All night before, I practiced cutting off the hermanas with my left hand while bringing in the elders with my right hand and counting out the beats so we could cut off at the same time and the practice went so much better than any other had before (I think it was mostly because I was not afraid to look silly leading or tell them when they did something wrong). I acted just like Mom when I lead! I did the same hand motions when I needed them to be louder or softer and everything. I think you would have loved to have been there seeing me do my thang.
Well, apparently if you lead the musical number it is just assumed that you lead the opening hymn as well, which was in 6/8. We sang As I Have Loved You in Spanish. In English, that song has one word per measure, but in Spanish, they cram 5 or 6 words into the same measure. It went terribly haha. I wasn´t sure what word we were on and no one had the actual music in front of them, they only had the words projected on the screen. It was terrible and I´m 98% sure Presidente Pratt was laughing at me, but it´s all good. I´ve needed to learn to do something I´m not great at and to fail at it miserably and get over it.  One prayer later, it was time for our musical number.

When we actually sang for the class, I lead with all my heart. When I needed it strong, I lead with both arms waving and at one point I dropped my music (we don´t have music stands) and I bent down to grab it with one hand while leading with the other. It sounded so good! The cut offs were great and the Elders came in at the right times and I loved it so much! I had people come up to me and tell me I did great and that it sounded good, and I had some people ask where I learned to lead music like that. I told them I had no idea what I was actually doing, and that I just love music and I´ve watched many great choristers, my mama included. It was so fun, and you know I love being in charge.

My district is also in charge of the musical number in sacrament meeting this week. Guess who they´ve elected to put in charge? We´re singing Abide with Me Tis Eventide in Spanish. At the beginning of our first practice, we had one elder that could sing parts. Now we have seven! I´ve only taught them tenor and bass parts for the chorus, but I am incredibly proud of myself, because it was not an easy task. So these were my music experiences this week, I loved them!

I´m not really sure what else to say. There´s been a lot of time spent in the classroom. I´m so glad I took Spanish before, because even my little knowledge from before has helped me so much. It turns out though that I´m a bit of a perfectionist. I don´t like to try to say things when I´m not 100% sure I´m correct. Because of my silly little fear, I have started talking less and less in lessons. My teacher Hermano Sanchez gets so confused and annoyed with me. He tells me "You know Spanish, but you won´t say it! I know you know it! I´ve  seen you read and translate in Predicad Mi Evangelio without English and you know it all!" Yesterday, Hermano Sanchez told us that we had 15 minutes to read up on la Palabra de Sabiduría y the Ley de Castidad, because we were going to one of the latino districts, and they were going to have one specific problem keeping them from baptism, and we´d have 20 minute to teach them. He then said that we´d be doing it one on one, without a companion (I didn´t like that). I felt pretty ready for it though, because I´ve been studyign those two topics so much. Well, the sweet hermana I was paired with had a completely different problem, she just wasn´t sure that baptism was the right option for her. In English, this would have been a piece of cake, because I could say what I needed to and I had lots of scriptures marked about baptism to support me and what not, but all I had were my Spanish scriptures, and I hadn´t picked out and marked a suitable scripture relating to baptism yet, and I couldn´t look it up in English first. I ended up sharing a scripture in Mosiah and saying what I needed to say in about 15 minutes and resolving her doubts. I still had time, but I was nervous to try and find another verse that I was thinking of, so I ended up ending early and just chatting with her. As our district was walking back to our classroom, Hermana Cefalo asked Hermano Sanchez if she was allowed to bring her English scriptures to appointments and practices. He said we could, then turned to me and said "You can´t." Of course I por que´d and he held up a finger telling me to wait. Once we got back to the classroom, he pulled me aside and said "I don´t measure your progress the same as the others. I expect more from you. I know what you can do. I know you can speak more Spanish than you think. I can´t wait to receive a letter from you in three months in perfect Spanish telling me that I was right. If you want, you can tell me to measure you the same as the others, but I don´t think I should."  Lots of this was in Spanish, but that was the basic gist. I thanked him, and told him I wanted to be pushed and I wanted to learn. I may have also teared up a bit, but what else is new. He said he had confidence and trust in me. None of this was necessary or part of his job description, but from my teachers, especially Hno Sanchez, I have seen awesome examples of the type of teacher I need to be.
I know that I absolutely need to make people feel loved and I need to let them know that I believe in them. The best teachers I´ve had (church or otherwise) have been the best because I have felt loved by them, and I learned the most from these teachers also. I want to work on developing those same qualities and learning how to show it for my investigators.

Earlier this week, Hermana Martinez and Hermano Sanchez were talking to me at the end of class and asked how my family was (I think they may have heard that something had happened, they just didn´t know what). I eventually told themthat Grandpa had died. Even though it´s been a while, I teared up talking about him because I am going to miss him. Hermana Martinez gave me a hug from her, and a hug from Hermano Sanchez because he couldn´t hug me. She´s about 5 feet tall, it reminded me of hugging one of my grandmas. It was gym time then, so I left, but an hour and a half later when I came back to class, Hermana Martinez handed me something with my name on it. She had taped three red index cards together, and each of my teachers, Hermana Martinez, Hermano Sanchez, and Hermano Rangel had written a short note inside.

My teachers are my favorite people, and such great examples of Christlike love. They have taught me a ton about Spanish, but the best thing I have learned from them is how to show love. Auugh I don´t want to leave the CCM, but I´m so excited for Ecuador and to teach real investigators!

Oh yeah, one of my favorite experiences this week happened on Monday. Hno. Sanchez arranged for our entire building to divide up into different rooms and have a little testimony meeting. It was cool because we had a companionship from every week in each room. It really helped me to see just how much I have progressed. Afterwards, the teacher over our room asked me and Hermana Fox if we spoke Spanish before coming here, which we took as a huge compliment. It was awesome to see that I can express myself well enough in Spanish.

I haven´t even written about general conference at all, but this is so long and I need to go! I will say this though: how amazing were Elder Holland and Elder Christofferson? There was so much boldness this conference. Did anyone else notice how much it was stressed that gender is an eternal and essential characteristic? Also, how great was watching that family choir? Those kids had the entire CCM laughing.
One of my favorite doctrines that was stressed multiple times was how all encompassing the Atonement is. The Savior is the healer of all infirmities: spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental.

Se que Padre Celestial nos ama, y yo se que Jesucristo es mi Salvador. Yo se que Jesucristo sufrió por mis aflicciones y dolores y pecados, y mediante la Expiación, podemos arrepentir. El Evangelio de Jesucristo es verdadero, y La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de Los Últimos Días es verdadera. Yo se que tenemos un profeta de Dios en el mundo hoy, Tomás S. Monson. Yo se que él recibe revelación de Dios por Su iglesia, y yo se que el profeta y los apóstoles son llamados a Dios. I would share more in SPanish but I ain´t got time.

Okay, I love you all, thanks!

.     Hermana Hanson, Hermana Chalmers, a tiny sliver of Hermana Bowen. I love my casa hermanas!

 I look ridiculous in this picture, but these are the only pictures I have this week. Our room is where everyone gathers. 
Hermanas Fox, Cefalo, Chalmers, Eastman, White, Hanson, and once again, a tiny sliver of Hermana Bowen.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#4 Mexico City MTC

Guess what I did this morning! We did a temple session in Spanish! I needed help near the end, but I was amazed at how much I understood throughout the endowment. I pray for el don de lenguas every morning and night and I think it´s really starting to kick in. While I was sitting in the Celestial room, I could picture Grandpa Skousen peeking around the corner and giving me a squinty little smile and in my head I could hear him say "hello princess!". I just know that he is thrilled that I´m in the temple, especially speaking Spanish. I love it so much, and I love the temple in Spanish! All the workers are so sweet and the other ladies in the session that we ran into in the dressing room shook all the hermana missionaries hands after and said hasta luego. There is so much love for the missionaries. I put Grandma Skousens name on the prayer roll, and I feel like every short sister in the temple is just a latina Abuela Skousen, and there are plenty short sisters. 

I really love my district. It hit me that I´m almost done with the CCM, and I don´t feel prepared at all. Hermana Martinez told the elders that our district was using week 2 Spanish, and we´re almost our third week. so it really freaked me out. Whenever I get more than a tiny bit discouraged, I lose all confidence in myself, and I tend to talk less and less. I´m working on getting over this, but it´s difficult, because I don´t like doing things that I don´t think I´m good at. Anyway, yesterday I was feeling a little down because I thought I was doing great and then we were told that we were two weeks behind.  We were having class in the morning with Hermano Sanchez, and we were all practicing teaching the third lesson in ten minutes with another missionary. It was one on one, so I didn´t have my companion with me to start things off, and I am just not conversational, in English or Spanish. So I sat there in the beginning, not sure how to apply this lesson to the fake investigator profile we had been given, and it didn´t help that Hermano Sanchez was kneeling next to Elder Baggs, who was supposed to by the fake investigator, waiting for me to say something. Hermana Sanchez always seems to picks up on when I lack confidence. He asked me which points I was going to teach of the lesson, and when I told him I honestly had no idea how or what to say, he said "No, that´s not true. You are a great missionary, and you know what to do." He told me that he and Hermana Martinez had discussed how I am always able to express myself in the lessons where Hermana Martinez plays our fake investigator, Mía, even when the lesson takes a turn that we didn´t plan on (which is often. This Mía character is difficult). He told me that Hna Martinez was amazed at how much Spanish I knew, and they wondered how to get me express myself during in class exercises. It was really nice hearing some good stuff, because we really only receive counsel on what we aren´t doing well or what we need to do  better. I guess subconsciously I assumed that because I wasn´t receiving good news, I must not be doing anything right. Turns out that whole two-weeks-behind thing didn´t apply to me, which I like. After this exercise, we were released on the CCM to do some "contacting". There were hoards of new Latino missionaries arriving at the CCM with their families, and we went up to them and asked if we could share our testimonies or share a quick message with them. It was so fun! For an 45 minutes or so, we talked to people arriving, and then we helped some Hermanas take their luggage to their casas, and we talked with them, all in Spanish. When the crowds dissipated, we talked to some of the maintenance guys. We bore our testimonies or shared messages thirteen  times, which put us in the lead, and you know I like winning. But it was just fun to see how much we could actually express.

Then, yesterday night, we had a devotional. It was Elder Walker of the 4th Quorum of the Seventy. He and his wife are Argentinian, and she gave a short little testimony before he spoke, which he translated for us. I was struck with how powerful a simple testimony can be, because after translation, her testimony was very simple. I ended up writing half a page of notes while she was speaking, even though she spoke for maybe five minutes. After devotionals, we have a district devotional review where we just talk about what we liked or learned, and that´s the thought I ended up sharing. I just shared that I know that we don´t need to be eloquent with Spanish in order to teach with the Spirit. I was reminded on the quote where Brigham Young talks about a man without eloquence. It´s on page 199 of the English Preach My Gospel I believe. I don´t have it with me, but it was a comforting thought and a concept I really like.

Monday we taught Hermano Rangel´s fake investigator character, Iván.  We were prepared to teach him the Plan of Salvation, but when we walked in and asked him how school and work were going, he launched into a big story about how he was overlooked for a promotion at work and how he was worried about something in his family, and he was angry about something and felt abandoned and a bunch of other stuff that we didn´t completely understand. But we understood that he wasn´t doing too great. It ended up being a really cool experience though. We are only allowed to bring our Spanish scriptures and the Spanish pamphlets with us into lessons. I haven´t read much in the LDM, and our scriptures don´t even have an index like my English scriptures do, but it was cool because I was able to recall that there were a few verses in Alma 7 that I should share. I was able pick out the verses I was looking for in my Libro de Mormon, even though all the verbs are written in the unfamiliar vosotros form and I definitely was not sure what the scripture even said in English. I haven´t been able to just remember scripture references, even in English, ever. I usually have to flip around a bit and look for specific markings in my own personal scriptures, but during that lesson I was able to find an unmarked verse in a set of scriptures in a different language, within a matter of seconds.  He thanked me for sharing the verse and said that it brought him a lot of comfort, both directly after sharing it and at the end of the lesson as we were saying goodbye.

We have class with Hermano Rangel right after we teach him, and in class he said that even though he was in character as Iván during our lessons, the experience he shared was something that had happened to him this past week. He said that me and Hermana Fox showed excellent love for our investigator and that he felt our genuine concern, and because we were teaching with the Spirit, we shared something that really helped him. I loved it! 

I know I said this last time, but I love my teachers! Hermano Sanchez brings us Mexican candy to try out and called us his Distrito Amado, and Hermano Rangel is just so happy that we are happy, even though by the time he teaches us we´ve been in the same classroom for twelve hours and it would be easy to be in a foul mood. I love the CCM. I am tired 100% of the time, but it´s a good tired, because I know I´m doing good things. 

I still want letters! Emailing is once a week for an hour, but we can read letters whenever, so make the little girls write me some letters or something for FHE! If we have some pictures you can send, so that too, because the only pictures I have are in the big calendar, and our district likes to share pictures and talk about our families when we walk home at night. 

 I have to go, but I love you all, I want letters, and the church is true. Tell the married people that they have to write me too! 

Attatched is a pre-video Sunday night selfie.
 In the back is Elder Hendricks (funniest guy ever); Elder Nelson, his companion; Elder Christensen, our district leader; a photobomber; and Elder Scott. Front is Hermana Chalmers, Hermana Fox, and Hermana Cefalo.

  Me and Hermana Fox today at the temple

Me and Elder Maughan on Sunday (he flew out to the field yesterday I believe)

My lovely district today at the temple. I love this picture because everyone looks so uncomfortable. From the top, Elder Christensen, Elder Nelson, Elder Hendricks, Elder Scott, next
Elder Kemp, Elder Reynolds (he´s a Travis), Elder Magnussen, Elder Baggs, then me, Hermana Chalmers, Hermana Fox, and Hermana Cefalo. The names are mostly so I can remember. You know, just in case.

You can´t really tell, but this is the hardest rain I have ever seen. My shoes and skirt were soaked through in minutes, and it hailed for a few seconds. ´The weather´s been gorgeous the last couple days, but I miss the rain.
I also think there´s mud on my face in this picture. No idea yet on how that happened.
My shoes and skirt were soaked through in seconds.