Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December 1st 2014

Dear Family,

I woke up this morning and had butterflies in my stomach! It is the FIRST of December! We will be seeing each other before this month ends! Can you believe it? There is a lot to do in that time, though!

Thanks for all the pictures from the Morrey reunion! You are all looking so great and happy! I am glad it was a good break for everyone.

Lunes. Monday.
Before the mission, I could pretend mimic a Spanish accent while speaking English. Now, my English sounds like Spanish. I often find myself saying full sentences in English, but perfectly pronounced in Spanish. It´s a bit of an embarrassment. The worst part is, NOBODY understands it.

Today we taught 14 year old Scarlette the Word of Wisdom. She had an idea of what it was from watching her cousins (Patricio and Tatiana who just got baptized.) She has been off tea, for 3 days! It is adorable. She told us she reads her scriptures and prays. It is amazing to see the difference in her eyes and in the excitement she has not only for church studies but also for her school work. She has improved in so many aspects. The gospel changes LIVES.

I have confirmed that I am losing my mind. Today I did splits with Hermana Altamirano in my area. We taught a lesson, and then finished with a prayer. Then we were waiting for a second because our member that was accompanying us was in the bathroom. Then the member came out and I had completely forgotten we had finished with a prayer. So, I INSIST that we pray again because I couldn´t remember it and I thought that the teenage girl and my comp were playing a joke. SO, in good humor, our little investigator prayers…AGAIN. In the middle of the prayer she said something that I remembered from the first prayer. Then when we finished we all started laughing because Hermana VanCott is apparently the prayer Nazi. 2 prayers to finish a lesson. Haha.

Hermana Altamirano is being trained by Hermana Volkert and they both live with me. Hermana Altamirano read in the missionary handbook how she has to call leaders by their full titles…so now the little sarcastic Peruvian girl curtsies and calls me ¨Hermana Lider Capacitadora Van Cott ¨ when asking me questions. Haha. OH! Fun fact, she is from Cuzco and met Leann Allred a few times while Leann was serving her mission. Wild. Small world in the church.

Today I had Mission Leadership Council. We talked about how we are going to use the ¨He is the Gift¨ message the church has released. We also talked about 3 Nephi 1 and how we can apply the message of this chapter that talks about Christ’s birth to our lives.

Today was the primary program. It went well. Poor Hermana Volkert got stuck playing all the songs. I was in charge of talk duty and leading a few special musical numbers. We were DEAD after Sacrament meeting. Plus, I woke up congested with a sore throat so that made everything butterflies and daisies.

Then we went to Familia Cabezas house for lunch. We ate beans. Do you know what beans do to me?! You don’t want to know. Just know that it is bad.

Then we had to do my all time favorite thing in the world and register our recent converts in family search and teach them how to use it. It is always the most complicated thing for me to explain in Spanish.

Now here we were, 30 minutes before our branch activity. The branch president calls us and says, ¨Hermanas, you know you are in charge of the message for the activity, right?¨ I told him, ``Uh…no, but thanks for telling us! We will come up with something in a half hour and you can be in charge of getting our investigator there. `` So, that was a good switch because he had a car to get our investigator and we had time on the bus to ponder and pray about a message. We decided on sharing the bible video of Christ´s birth and having each person say one thing that they could give to Christ and Heavenly Father this month. We did it, sang lots of Christmas hymns, and it was a spectacular spectacular!!! (I am still quoting Moulin rouge…I am proud of myself…)
The greatest thing was to hear a few less active members say things like…

I am going to read my scriptures more.
I am going to be a better example for my kids.
I am going to give more time to service.
I am going to have more meaningful personal prayers.

There was a sweet spirit. At the end we summed it up by saying that we can´t give material things to God because all that we have is from him. The only thing we can really give him is our obedience and desire to follow Jesus Christ.

Now I am sitting here after planning, taking a hot shower to help me stop coughing, and now am pondering about how fast time is passing. Time flies when you are having fun! …or stressed out…either way.

Love you tons!
Hermana Van Cott
pic 1: Branch Activity.
Pic 2: Dani Molina, a returned missionary that has been helping us tons! She is awesome. 

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