Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Hola!!!!!! WOW, week 2 down! In some ways it feels like it's gone so fast but at the same time I feel like I´ve been gone for SO LONG! I´ve just been studying a lot and practicing and teaching and speaking and teaching and studying and learning and teaching and studying...etc. :) But it´s good and I´m trying to work really hard. It´s so important to be self motivated here because a lot of the progress we make really comes down to using your time wisely and wanting to work hard. There are so many people who slack off in the MTC and then struggle in the field so I’m trying my hardest not to be one of those!
This week has been pretty good. I had a little rough spot Saturday night/Sunday because I was just getting a little frustrated and discouraged with the language and other things but I´m doing so much better now. Although it was really hard, I learned a lot about obedience, faith, patience, and just God´s love for all of us. It´s so easy to feel like we aren´t good enough and can´t measure up to his expectations or those around us but He taught me that it really is so important to go to him for feedback and assurance, not comparing myself to others or what I think he expects from me. I also am blessed with such amazing companions and roommates which makes things a lot easier. A lot of the Hermanas had a rough few days this week but we were all able to pull together and help each other. Every night we do "Comp Compliments" which is when we all (the 5 Hermanas in my room) take turns going around the circle and saying what we liked/noticed that day about each other that we thought was really neat. It´s helped us grow really close and also trust each other a lot. I love these girls :)
In my personal study I found a scripture in Job 5:17 which talks about how happy is the man who the Lord chasteneth...or something to that affect. It really hit me that I shouldn´t let myself get so discouraged when I feel like the Lord is trying to teach and mold me. I should be so glad that he cares enough to take the time to help me become the missionary he wants me to be. That helped a lot and I’ve been doing so much better these past few days. I think the Lord just needed me to have a little rough patch so I would remember that he is always there for me and will never let me fall if I just turn to him. I feel like our relationship has increased and I feel more focused on my real purpose here. Such a tender mercy for me to learn so early on.
Then on Tuesday this week we went to Immigrations to work on our Visas which was an adventure! We all hopped on a bus and rode into the big city. The traffic here is so crazy and I finally had to just close my eyes and pray that we would make it there alive :) Just a lot of stop and go, cars everywhere honking, and the lines in the road are basically just guidelines to suggest how many cars should probably fit on the road. Usually there are a few cars squeezing their way through the middle, especially motorcycles. And they all drive super close to each other which is a little scary...but exciting too :) At stop lights people just walk around all the cars to get across the street and we even saw a guy walking down the row of cars selling ice cream...haha so unlike home! Oh yeah, I forgot to mention they do have ice cream here so don't worry about me missing out on that. :) We've had it a few times in the CCM and people sell it all over the streets here.
I also saw some people picking through the trash along the way and a lot of homeless people which is very sad and isn´t something I’m used to seeing. Here in Lima there are the very rich and the very poor, all together in one big city so you sort of get to see a little of everything. It´s already made me so grateful for what I have though! Even thinking about home the first thing I realize is how much we have and how clean everything is. I´m pretty sure I’ll be in shock when I come home. :) The buses are packed full of people all the time and you just stand on the side of the road and wave one down and they pick you up and take you where you want to go. It´s actually really nice!
Today we also got to go to the temple again which I loved. It feels so much like home there. My companion´s translator stopped working towards the beginning of the session so I gave her mine and just listened in Spanish. I actually understood almost all of it! It was such a blessing and was so cool to see the gift of tongues in action! Then we just went shopping some more and then came back and met all the new missionaries! They come in every two weeks so we got to say quick hellos and assure them that they won´t die and to just get through the first few days cuz they are rough. :) But I’m excited to get to know them all! There are probably 75 to 90ish of us missionaries here...maybe less since a bunch left for the field on Tuesday. So it´s really small and we all basically know each other.
We´ve taught a bunch of lessons now to so many people. We teach our teachers, the Latino missionaries, and members who volunteer to come in. It´s such good practice but also really hard to communicate in Spanish. I understand a lot now but it´s just forming words and speaking back that is difficult. And now I’ve started forgetting English so that´s exciting too :) It´s so fun teaching them though and it makes me so excited to be out in the field!! I love these Peruvian people so much already and I can´t wait to live with and teach them!!!
The food is really good. Lots of rice, meat, veggies, potatoes, and more rice and meat and potatoes. So it´s really good and I’ve liked it. Also they eat a lot of a fruit called granadias...I’m not sure how to spell it though. Look it up, it´s pretty weird! And their little oranges are green but still orange inside which is also exciting. Lots of yummy bread and desserts too. I´ll probably gain like 15 pounds before I leave the CCM because we all eat so much for meals because we´re starving from sitting in desks all day...not sure how that works but it´s true! :) It's gotten pretty hot this week and still humid but I´m getting used to it.
Let me know what questions you have about anything and what kinds of things you want to hear! It´s hard to remember everything from a whole week and write it all in less than an hour. :) I love you all so much! Thank you so much for all the support and prayers. I promise I feel them here and it helps so much. I can´t wait to be able to share more stories!! Love you soooooooo much!!!!! :)
Then just some buildings and scenery to help you get a feel for what i see here every day :)