Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Week Two!

Hola Familia!
That´s still all I can really say in español (hey, the computers here have a special button for the ´ñ´). The language is rough but it is coming. This Sunday I was able to understand almost everything being said during sacrament meeting, but I still can´t respond. I keep telling myself if all I leave here with is how to say my testimony, I´ll be fine. Who cares if I am lost in a city, the Lord will provide for me.
Oh, here is a story about the gift of tongues. This week during exercise we were running, and a lady walked up to me and said ¨excuse me, but can you help me?¨ I was like, whoaaa. Totally understood that. So, I said ¨si¨ with a smile. She then said, ´do you know where a bank is?´´... at this point I´m like, there has to be SOME reason why I am understanding her...but I couldn´t think of how to respond in Spanish. So, I began to say ¨No se¨, like I don't know, but then I realized the lady was speaking in ENGLISH. hahahahahah. I about died. Here I am thinking I finally have the language down. Oh well.
The CCM sort of feels like a really long girls camp. Only I am not sick of anyone yet, surprising huh? My compañera and I joke all the time, but when it is time to listen to the spirit we always receive the answers we are looking for. Its awesome to have those experiences while preparing for FAKE investigators, because I know when it comes time for the REAL investigators the Spirit will guide us even more. We got one of our fakies to commit to baptism, yippee! Now we just need to teach the other one about chastity. Im not looking forward to that, to be honest.
This week we got to go to the temple! We walk around the temple about 20 times a day because it is right next to the CCM, but it was nice to finally go inside. There were about 3 or 4 elders going through for their first time, Latins. It was so tender to see their excitement. You could see their faith. That sounds weird, I know. I can´t describe it. One of the Latino Elders is about 26, and he has tattoos and a face that looks like he has seen a lot of hard things in life. But sitting there in the temple watching him go through for the first time was a tender experience. I just kept thinking ¨Brother, look how far you have come.¨. Wow. I´m now teary eyed and can´t see the screen. But honestly, it is marvelous how the atonement works.
This week I have focused on the atonement. Everyone needs it in their lives. The atonement provides feelings of peace during times of trial, and can help us become new and better people. One of the Hermana´s in my district just lost someone close to her in a car accident during the first week here. It very personal for her so I wont say much, but we all have been able to witness the atonement taking action in her life. Whenever she looks like she is just going to give up, she suddenly gets this peaceful look on her face. The atonement also works through us, because in order for her to be happy we need to mourn with her, comfort her, and encourage her. Anyways. Stalwart woman.
We have funny times with our district. On Sunday, Elder District Leader was giving us our lesson. He was talking about how the spirit works. He said something about how everyone knows someone who hysterically cries every time they bear their testimony, and how sometimes that takes away from the spirit. anyways, it was fine...but then he dug himself into a little hole, so in order to hurry and wrap up he was just like ¨Chose your tears wisely´, haha. I don't know why that was so funny, but it is a good thing to remember. If we are always crying, it makes us look sad. BE HAPPY when you share your testimony. We are happy. Happy happy happy.
Speaking of the Seven Dwarfs (dwarfs?)...I am Sneezy this week. I have had a cold from walking to class every morning with wet hair. Blah. Its getting better though, I eat all the salad I can get.
Oh, we got pizza this week. That was cool. Everything here is like...non greasy. Sometimes I just want to buy a stick of butter on my Pday and spread it on EVERYTHING. But I wont.
I now weigh 115, am 5 foot 6 and have zero acne.
baha. Jokes. But I have lost weight. Which is nice. My skirts feel better.
Thanks everyone for the letters! I don´t have time to respond personally to everyone, but I take pictures of them on my camera so I can read them later. I am so happy to hear from friends leaving on missions, friends at home, and, of course, family. It is nice to know that you know that I am still alive, just really far South.
OHHHHH! I nearly forgot. My minions left today. WAAAaaaaAAAa. By minions, in case you don't know who I am talking about, I mean the little (half my size) Latina Hermanas that were rooming with us. I have never laughed harder than I have with them. One of them always sings in the shower. This morning was so quiet. I am going to miss the one that sleeps above me talking in her sleep, and I am also going to miss watching her try to get on and off the top bunk. I almost had a heart attack every time she got down. It was like watching a baby roll out of a crib. That was graphic, and I hope that never happens. But still. I feared for her life every day.
Me and my companion lay in bed every night and listen to the Latinas talk in their little minion voices. Sometimes I giggle out loud because I imagine them full on minion, and then they stop talking and say ¨Que es su problema?!?¨Which means, ¨What is your problem?¨¨. hahahah.
I never did learn how to respond, but I don't think they'd get it if I said ¨Im laughing because you remind me of little yellow creatures who talk really fast and do funny things¨. AND, heavens, that would be even harder to charade explain. So I just giggle some more and say ¨Sweet dreams!¨
I am learning that teary laughter is the most common event here. We all mess up so often, and our teacher cant hold it in. During one of the lessons the Elders taught the fake investigator, the spirit was so strong. They were talking about the atonement. Then, our of the blue, Elder says ¨¨Te amo Jesucristo¨. Which means, I love you Jesus Christ. The investigator almost died because it was so random in context. The Elder meant to say ¨Jesus Christ loves you¨, but oh well.
Also, pescado is fish and pecado is sin. That gets funny sometimes.
We always tell our teachers ¨papa, papá.¨ in English it would be like potato pah tot oh, but in Spanish is it dad, potato. hahahah.
Okay, I have to go and I didn't leave time for pictures. Sorry. Love you all. The teacher just told us we need to say goodbye.
Please fix my spelling and grammar mistakes, I am typing so fast!
Love you all. Thanks for writing. Christian, Grace, Max and Eli, you guys are the best! I loved your letter last week, and Graces letter this week! Be good and have fun in the heat!
Love you love you love you ALLLLLL.
See you in 76 more weeks,
Hermana VanCott
Oh. ps. Don't write me letters. Just email for now because the mail here at the CCM is all wacko.

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