Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"I am having ZERO problems living with a only problem is the language..."

Gosh Mom I love your long emails so much but I´m realizing it's so hard to answer everything you say AND send pics and everything! Haha ok so my mailing adress is:
Calle 70 #521-A x 65 y 67
Col Centro
Merida, Yucatan Mexico CP 97000
But tell everyone they don't need to send anything! I think it's kinda expensive to send stuff here and Mimi [ her grandma ] was threatening to send a pillow because of my last email but I'm really fine, found one, it's all good!
Send pics of the cookie swap! Wish I could be there!

Hermana Garcia is SO FUNNY! I have lots of stories that I wrote about in my journal and if I have time I'll send them but at this rate I don't think I will.. so you can hear them in 17 months when I come home:) 
I am having ZERO problems with living with a companion or loving the people or dealing with their problems or even the weather (which is ridiculous as I'm sure you know) but my only problem is the language. And it's a big problem, but I'm grateful that it's the only one. Actually I'm homesick too. but not as bad as last week.
Thanks for the quote! I've started a journal of scriptures and quotes and hymn lyrics (LOTS of hymn lyrics..) that I like. It's pretty fun.
 Hermana Garcia's got Swagg! 
 Hermana Smith and Hermana Garcia (at least they have air conditioning!)
Samantha's first baptism!

OK my Christmas call is on the 25, probably around 5 or so. But really it could be any time from 4 to 6. I will go to a member's house and the plan is to Skype, but who knows. What is your Skype thing? And can you try to figure out mine? 
I have like no time to email all my adventures of this week but I´ll tell you on the Christmas call! I Love you!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I'm so tall here...everyone is shorter than me.

I didn’t even realize Thanksgiving had come and gone, but it sounds like you guys had fun! Thanks for everyone’s nice emails, I know even the darkest night will pass and the sun will rise! (Les Miserables) This morning I was having a really rough time with just everything and I didn't even know why until HG [her companion, Hermana Garcia] was like: "Do you miss your family?" and then I just started crying. But she made me read D&C 31[“Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation… there is a lot more but that’s a sample] which didn't stop the tears but I guess I felt a little better. Gosh what's the matter with me crying all the time??? It sucks. These kids next to me in this little internet cafe playing computer games probably think I'm super weird. Oh well. I'm actually not sure what Tanlum is, but it's either in or near Merida. If that helps. 

Sam and her companion, Hermana Garcia

Day 2- So I'm teaching HG sign language cause she's teaching me Spanish and it’s kinda fun. We'll both be tri-lingual. So there are probably a million Volkswagon bugs in Merida. I swear everyone has one. Not sure why. I love my hammock, but I wish I had a pillow too.

Day 3- We’re eating oreos for breakfast but I have had no appetite since I got here. Well actually yesterday we had lunch with this one lady Hermana Esther (its pronounced Astaire. like Fred Astaire.) Anyway she made the best chicken I've ever had! We have this one investigator Oscar that we visited yesterday but he was drunk and kept trying to hug HG even though he knows that he can't and asking my first name... Weird. (Actually today- day 8- we saw him again and I didn't even recognize him sober.. but he's actually a really nice guy!) 

Day 4- So everyone kisses each other here. Even people you've never met before! They hug you and kiss your cheek as a greeting. Every time. It’s kinda cool. We taught this guy Pedro today and he lives in this place I couldn't even call a house. No roof or real floor, front wall is a chain link fence thing... anyway I actually talked kinda a lot and I don't think he will remember anything ( he's REALLY old...) but it was cool and I actually remembered why I'm here on a mission in the first place. 

I'm so tall here. Everyone is shorter than me. So HA to everyone who ever called me short. I probably have close to 6000 mosquito bites on my legs and it’s terrible!  I still don't know what anyone is saying during lessons and my companion informed me that the other day this one guy was telling us about his suffering and sorrow and whatnot and I was sitting there smiling and nodding like some clueless gringo cause that’s all I ever do! So he probably thinks I'm heartless or something. Oh well. 

AH there’s so much more I want to write but once again, time:/ sorry. But I love you all dearly!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Well Hola! I´m in Mexico now.

Well Hola! I´m in Mexico now.

My p-days [ note- p day is short for preparation day.  That is the day the missionaries use to do laundry, grocery shop, run errands and get some exercise ]  aren´t Wednesdays anymore, but the mission president wants all of us new missionaries to write home today to let our families know we´re alive. So here I am. Alive.

Also this is the most unreal thing of my life and I´m not going to lie, it’s super hard. I don´t know how I´ll be able to do this for 17 more months... However I´m super lucky cause I got the ONLY companion available in the mission who speaks English. For the Hermanas anyway. We´re the FIRST batch of not native Hermanas in this mission. A lot of the elders speak English but only one Hermana- my companion Hermana Garcia. She´s from the Dominican Republic. She´s super sweet and she looks just like my friend Arianna from work. HW and I parted ways. I would put a frowny face here but I don´t know how to on this computer.  But her companion knows zero English and of the five of us Hermanas who came from Provo, we´re the only 2 who are completely new at Spanish. The other 3 Hermanas were in the intermediate Spanish course at the MTC.

I sleep in a hammock.  It’s actually pretty cool ‘cause the bedrooms are just empty rooms with hooks on the wall and at night you hang up your bed! I feel like a caterpillar in a cocoon.

So I ate a chipotle pepper yesterday at breakfast and I almost died.  Then everyone proceeded to tell me (In Spanish) how mild those peppers are and just wait ‘til I try a habanero and liuspanishdfgyudsspanishvghniuspanishiuhnvspanish. Great. I thought I like spicy food but I don´t know how well I can handle this whole pepper thing. Anywho the mission president and his wife are really nice but pretty strict, which is fine with me.  I already had my disobedience week.

Sam with mission pres and his wife- her new "parents" for the next 17  months

Yesterday HG and I taught some people in our area and as we were walking to the first house it randomly started pouring so when we got to his house we were soaked. But his kids were cute and the conversation seemed like it was going well! Of course I wouldn´t know. It was in Spanish. I said like one thing about families and I hope it made sense. My companion and this guy we were teaching (Jose) were nodding and "mmhmm"ing but they were probably just trying to make me feel better. We´re in this little area called Tanlum and all the houses are tiny and cute and close together and old looking and brightly colored and very... Mexico. But the city is bonita [pretty]! It’s like New York! But its soo scary ‘cause the people drive so fast and crazy and the roads are so narrow and there’s always people walking everywhere and I´m so surprised I haven´t seen an accident or anything! Sorry this letter is so pessimistic. I didn’t even know I was going to email you guys until like 20 minutes ago so I don´t have my journal or my camera for pictures.. Sorry.

The weather is so bipolar here. When we got off the plane at like 11 at night, I immediately started sweating. It was like a pot of soup. at 11pm. in November. Help. Pero [But] , it rains A LOT and today it’s been actually kinda coldish. I just wish I could talk to people already. :( I figured out how to do a frowny face. Ok well I guess I´m checking out now. I promise to be happier next week. Hopefully.

-Hermana Smith

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Black water and blessings


Ok so today hopefully I can finish everything I want to say in time! Thanks for all the letters you sent! I'm sad cause I only have 5 more days that I'll be able to get mail (easily anyway) until the end of my mission!! So here’s what happened this week:

11/13-  Today we had a killer lesson with Enrique! So we had this idea of how to show him that El Libro de Mormon [Book of Mormon] really did testify of Christ a lot, so we had him open up to any random page in the ELDM and we would show him where on that page it testified of Christ! and I was nervous that he would just happen to open up to a page where it just said something lame like- "then Jesus went to Jerusalem.." or something insignificant like that or even a page that didn't say the word Christ at all! BUT he turns to alma 44, and we see the word "Cristo" in verse 3 so we have him read it aloud and as he reads, we're following along in the English scriptures and our jaws drop! It’s the PERFECT scripture for him! Then he agreed to read the Book of Mormon for us! The spirit was so strong and it was amazing! 

Elders and Hermanas in her district

In other news, while taking a shower tonight, I almost died. ok not really, but it was waayyyy scary! so I'm in the shower and H D is just brushing her teeth at the sink, and all of a sudden she screams bloody murder and I thought she just saw a gross bug or something so I'm like "what is it?" and she screams "THE WATER IS BLACK!" and right after she says that, the water in the shower starts coming out as gross BLACK water!!! So I grab my towel and jump out screaming and the water is still running even though it turned back clear again, we were so scared! And it was really late so we didn't want to go complain to maintenance at like 11 at night so I made them say a prayer with me, probably the strangest prayer I've ever said: "please bless the shower water to not be black.." and then I made them sit right outside the bathroom with the door open while I showered in case a dementor popped out of the shower head and tried to suck my soul or something. 

So tonight while walking back from class we see H H [MTC teacher] in his car talking on  his phone to his girlfriend so HD runs up to his car, opens his door, takes his phone, and starts talking to his girlfriend! haha that girl.... and HH was so casual about it too, it was weird. 

11/14- this morning was service, but H S was sick so her and HD had to stay home. which normally would be fine cause everyone hates service cause it’s at 6am, but I kinda like it:) and this morning HW and I made everyone play "never have I ever" with our whole zone (which is kinda like do you love your neighbor the way HW plays it) and it was way fun!! Our zone is cool. Our lesson with Enrique today consisted of us watching a conference talk in Spanish for 20 minutes, which is usually how long our lessons are anyway, and it was weird cause we weren't in our normal room where we usually do investigator lessons, we had to improvise and take him out into the classroom where the computer was. And the elders were super confused and just left the room ‘til we were done. But Enrique says he believes Thomas S Monson is a true prophet! Yay! And HD and HS had to go back to the room again cause HS wasn't feeling good, but before they left Elder C gave her a blessing and it was AMAZING. Like straight up patriarchal blessing status. He was talking to her on behalf of God. Like "at this time Heavenly Father wants you to know that...." and it was waayyy cool!!!

In other news, I'm still terrified of taking a shower. Also, my ballet shoes [note from Camille, I told her- don’t take those shoes on your mission- they won’t last! ] are getting way worn out! I'll need to get some new ones ‘cause I love them but they're falling apart! Probably cause we run all the time. Literally, whenever we are walking somewhere (which is all the time) one of us will inevitably say "should we run?" and we just run to wherever we need to go! It’s faster than walking so why not?   I'm pretty sure we're notorious for it. It started out ‘cause we're always late to everything, but now I kinda like it! Also, it’s not as cold when you run…., I feel like this could be good training for running a marathon or something.

 Today was the last day of gym for the Elders right above us. Triste dia [sad day]. We got so close to them and I'll be sad to see them leave. Elder C is the sweetest! He gave me his sweatshirt today cause the guy got mad at me for wearing a t-shirt with "the format" on it (Evidently no band t-shirts are allowed...) so I had to wear his sweatshirt to cover it up. But hey cool that I can no longer wear any of the t-shirts I brought cause they all have band names on them... 

 Sam's district with Elder C (sweatshirt lender)

Hermanas in Sam's district
Excited to head out!

11/16- Sorry for not writing yesterday.. today is our one month anniversary in el CCM! Yay! Ok so I had a revelation this morning of a really cool mashup that could be done. "Battle hymn of the republic" and "Marchin on" by OneRepublic. Someone needs to do it.  Probably Shelley. I'll ask her to do it.

 WE GOT OUR TRAVEL PLANS TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s a big deal here cause when you get your travel plans then all of a sudden life is real for you... but the elders thought they would be so funny and hide ours in the cupboard and pretend that just theirs came, and so HD was freaking out! but then E C went and got them out of the cupboard and she (HD) was so overcome with... some emotion, not sure which one... half anger and half happiness I think... so she threw this apple that was in her hand at E C. hahahahaha it was so funny!!! So tonight E F prayed that we would have chastity for the people of Mexico during district prayer. He meant to say charity, but the Spanish words are so similar so he mixed them up. (Caridad y castidad) it was funny.

 Time to leave the CCM (MTC).  Her district gets their marching papers!

She leaves on Monday November 25th for Merida!

The newest thing H C [Sam's teacher] likes to say to us is "Cual es su problema???" which is not that unusual, except for he says it like all the time. Like someone will try to say something in English or cough or accidentally knock a book off their desk and he's all "What’s your problem??" Haha also, instead of like "Oh my gosh" he says "Santa Maria!!" which is wildly funny to us because only he could get away with that. Like if someone says it in front of H H [another teacher] or at gym, everyone freaks out cause it’s pretty sacrilegious and highly disrespectful- especially in Mexico where everyone is catholic, but he's just like "I don't care. Stop trying to copy what I say then" but now I just want to say SANTA MARIA to everything. It’s a problem. 

11/17- AH WE'RE LEAVING IN ONE WEEK!!!! I’m not ready. I'm going to cry. Can I just stay in the ccm for my whole missino? Ok so we're sitting in our kitchen right now and HW is getting her hair chopped off. By HS. which is totally illegal. #rebelmissionaries. So what do you do when you're companion wants to have "disobedience week" for your last week? Do you go help her steal a golf cart? Yeah I think so. Haha chiste[joke] we're not going to do that... probably.. but the district above us did that!! Totally stole a golf cart and took a video of it. It was hilarious. The security chick was pretty chill about it apparently. so good for them. But legitimately. disobedience week. We'll see how this goes... hopefully the wrath of God won't be poured out on us. hehe chiste..

Illegal goldfish- names - Pecado and Culpa .  Translation- sin and fault.

In other news I spewed fresca all over HD at dinner. That was embarrassing. Missionary problems #1: as soon as you start praying over your meal, someone will inevitably say something funny or start talking about something you want to talk about, but you have to focus on finishing your prayer and it's really hard to not laugh or talk!! 

11/18- Funniest devotional ever. This lady- Mary Ellen Edmunds gave it and she is a HOOT! haha she laughs at her own jokes and has all these weird facial expressions! Tonight we were at the Wyview chapel watching the devo live (every week they have to ask some zones to stay at west campus for the devo cause there's not enough room at main campus) so they have a camera on us all the Wyview chapel and they always show us live at the beginning of each devo after they say something like: "we'd like to recognize all those watching this from west campus..." and then the screen goes to us. So today these guys in front of us told everyone to pretend to be asleep when they showed us on camera, and it was sooo funny! President Nally and his wife were laughing. I think everything is just funnier at the CCM cause I swear I've never laughed so much.. 

Ok that’s all I’ve got to say this week! Toodaloo!!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Jyou gringos are super weirdo with jyour turkey party or whatever..."

11/6- We got our new districts tonight (2 new districts!!! altogether 10 elders and 4 hermanas) and elder B and I oriented the one district of all elders while HW and elder C got to welcome the other one with the hermanas:( but I’m not bitter. haha but it was a bit awkward... oh well! early service tomorrow!

11/7- Tonight we had a really good lesson by Hermano H about personalizing a lesson for an investigator, and also a SUPER good lesson and story from Hermano C! But his lessons are always amazing. Apparently he couldn't walk until he was 16! crazy stuff.. Also, I got 3 Dear Elder's from Shelley today. They were hilarious and I made my whole district read them! 

11/8- Ok  scariest story ever and I totally forgot to write about it the other day. So our district leader totally almost died. So I guess he has a bunch of issues and allergies and stuff and now apparently he has an unusually small esophagus so he chokes like, all the time, but he always ignores it because it always passes. But yesterday during dinner everyone’s talking and preoccupied with mail and stuff so at first nobody notices, but I look up at Elder F and his face is all red and he's holding his throat. So Elder C is like "He's choking!" so everyone looks up and half our zone comes over to our end of the table and it’s just the scariest thing ever!! He looks like he's in serious PAIN and his fists are clenched and he's shaking all over and E C is like "are you ok? can you breathe?" but nobody really knows what to do!  So he's not really asking for any help and trying not to make a scene, and someone says "does anyone know CPR?" and he kinda shakes his head no. umm okkk? Finally, Elder R (this elder who looks JUST like Andrew our cousin) from the district right under us notices what’s happening, immediately jumps out of his seat, rips off his coat and his watch, and gets right close to EF and says :"can you breathe nod yes or no." super professional right? EF shakes no. SO E R gets behind him in his chair and starts doing the Heimlich (sp?) and I was so scared and HD and I were just clutching each other’s arms and I couldn't even watch so I looked down and PRAYED. When I look up again EF is breathing again and he just has his head down not talking. And everyone is just silently worriedly watching him, ‘cause he keeps holding his chest and looks like he's in pain. Then out of the blue he gets up and walks out super fast, so his companions have no choice but to hurry after him. and sweet elder B is like "just go with him we'll clean everything up for you!" and that was the end of that. Scary. but holy cow major respect for elder R! And he was fine after that- just didn't want to talk about it.

11/9- So our investigator Enrique (AKA Hermano H) seems to be making progress! Also, Hermano C is still the best. So I am making a collection of the funny things he says, and here's what I've got so far:

-"Don't move Hermana S! (And he always butchers her name) There’s a big huge scary thing right behind you and it will eat your face in one second!!!!!!" (he was talking about a pigeon that landed on our balcony thing outside our window. weirdo)
- "I don't have a problem with her! I just think....... she has problems...." (talking about our first investigator Maria, aka, one of our ZRTs) 
- "in the scriptures it says: Be hot or be cold, cause if you are just warm, God will throw up."
- (this is my attempt at his funny accent) "Jyou gringos are super weirdo with jyour Turkey party or whatever." (talking about Thanksgiving)

11/10- Just came from sacrament and it was way good! So HW made this chart where everyone has to write down who they think will be called to give the talk that day (Everyone has to write a 3 minute talk in Spanish and they randomly choose 2 people to give it in sacrament meeting, RIGHT before you go up) so I guessed right for the elder and I was pretty excited about that. So today HW and I and Elder C and Elder B (as zone leaders and sister training leaders) had to run sacrament meeting for the poor cafeteria people who have to work on Sunday. So we do this cute little sacrament meeting in the cafeteria for like 20 people and the elders had to give short little talks and it was pretty cool!  ‘Cause it was just the 4 of us and just the 2 elders did the sacrament and we prayed and it was way weird but cool! 
So 4 square has never been a more popular or competitive sport anywhere but here!!!! Or in our zone anyway.. like I look forward to gym every day so we can play four square. And I'm actually getting pretty good- not as good as the elders though. They are CRAZY! It’s like EXTREME 4square with them! But it’s fun and we smack talk HARD. It’s cool

11/11- So you remember how Hermano C  told us that thing about God throwing up, and apparently that’s a thing. It’s in the scriptures. Revelations 3:16. Look it up. What the heck! In other news, our teachers love to embarrass us. HH makes us go outside and sing Christmas songs in Spanish in the middle of the walkway. And HC is a language bully. He intimidates other kids with his fast Spanish, and every time someone walks by our room he says: "hola! Nosotros estamos hablando en solo espanol toda dia hoy." and they're like "ok cool..." and if someone says a word in English he's like "Stop your embarrassing me!" 

11/13- OK so no big deal, I just got to talk with L TOM PERRY last night!!!!! Well actually I didn't talk to him, he just talked to me. Also, there were like 1000 other people there too. And also he was up on the pulpit. But still! I was only in the presence of an APOSTLE!!! No big deal or anything. He talked about companionships which I was super surprised by but it was still way good!!

AH ok I didn’t finish that last entry but I'm WAYY out of time so I'll write the rest in a letter! Love you and I'll send pictures! 


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hola! Como esta? Muy bien, y Usted? Bien!

That’s how most of my day goes down walking around west campus here.
Ok  here’s my journal entries for this week, so it’s pretty much everything that happened:

10/30- second p-day. Gosh they're so busy! But we got to go to Brigham’s landing today for lunch with most of our zone cause it’s this one districts last day. And it’s ALL our other hermanas last p-day!:( I'm going to be so sad when they leave for Argentina next week. E J is just so stinkin’ friendly, but such a big goofball! And his companion E H is such a dork, almost like a homeschooly dorkiness- but he is SO FUNNY! cracks me up. And H H is this super fun chick from New Zealand and she is hysterical!! And H M is just the cutest little ballerina-dancing, piano playing, selfless girl I know! She went to India and shaved her head for some cool Indian ritual show of sacrifice thing. And H T is the sweetest human being ever. like she would drop everything to come talk to us and see how we were doing. And H D is just so real and funny and easy to talk to! I love them all.

Anywho, we got 6 new hermanas today! I WAS excited. but we just found out they're like all already fluent and going to be in the Spanish intermediate class . So we're pretty much still at the bottom. Besides the new elders from last week.  So today while at Brigham’s landing we went to this adorable little cupcake shop and listened to the radio and wrote our letter. Literally, 90% of p-day consists of writing letters.  We also went to the temple and did sealings which was way fun and spiritual until this old lady farted in the middle of the session and E B and H W started cracking up! Ok so we decided that we love E b! He's SO fun to talk to and tell stories to cause his reactions are so good! haha and his companion is way cool too! I can't remember his name now but  we have nicknames for most of the elders in our zone. We're working on learning their actual names, but this nickname thing is way fun! Its amazing how easy it is to love people at the CCM! Even people that you'd probably normally hate!

10/31- Ok I don't know what was up, but today was ROUGH! So remember when I talked about Ignacio and how hard it was to teach him? I just really have been wondering if I can even do this and Spanish is so hard and we have so much to learn still but no time and it’s all so overwhelming!   Needless to say, emotions are running a bit high for HW and I... So this morning, we're getting ready for gym and we see a bunch of elders from our zone out our apartment window and they're ice blocking down this little grassy hill thing, so we're messing around and shout out the window "hey no ice blocking at the MTC!"  so we found out later that they got in a ton of trouble for that cause the gym people heard them and yelled at them and took away their gym for 2 days.. And it was all my fault!!!!! So I talked to them later and they seemed super ticked at me about it and this polynesian kid goes "Ok so who is Hermana Smith?" and I raise my hand and he’s like "oh..." and walks away.  So I felt like crap the rest of the day and I apologized but I'm pretty sure they don’t forgive me! So in the bookstore today out of the blue I lost it and almost started crying right there cause everything was happening and I was so overwhelmed and to top it all off all the elders in our district hate me. But I felt dumb cause what a stupid reason to break down like that! It was remarkably pathetic. But so at dinner Elder B and his companion (I think his name is Elder S?) totally apologized and said that they were joking about being mad and losing their gym time and everything cause they're sweethearts but still probably the only ones who aren't really mad.   Also, its Halloween!  HW made me dress up like a hippie with her which was a little off but we work with what we've got! Haha it was either that or nerds or pilgrims or something. So cute Hermanas T and M dressed up like little 50's girls, like hairspray status! totes adorbs.

11/1- So good news, they don't hate me. The reason they were all acting weird is because the story of the old lady in our sealings session who farted was floating around and somehow it turned into them thinking that I was the one who farted. So tonight polynesian elder (whose real name is like elder N... Something...)  confronted me about it and we realized they weren't mad at me, they were just judging me.  So I don't need to feel hated, just super embarrassed... haha oh well!! So today we did TRC for the first time and HW loved it!  I was a little lost, but it was cool to talk to real people!  But it’s hard to know what to say cause you're not TEACHING them the gospel, cause they're already members.. gosh a mission is so hard. and consists of lots of awkward silences. story of my life. Oh I miss S.  So in other news I got a package today and was all excited, but it turns out it was a BALLOT my dad sent me... classic dad.

11/2- So H T and H H came to visit tonight (they do that a lot) and they are so cute!! H H has the SICKEST New Zealand accent and it's so fun to listen to her talk! But in Australia (Where she'd most recently from) apparently they don't have any bad words, like the bad words here are normal words there, so she's always dropping the D word and B word and then she'll cover her mouth and be like "oh sorry, is that a bad word for alla yous?" but sweet Hermana T is so used to it and covers for her all the time, it’s so funny! So tonight we had to turn all our clocks back cause weird Utah people like to change the time twice a year... psh. daylight savings...

11/3- So guess who got called as our zones newest sister training leaders!!!!!!! HW and I!!!! We're so stoked. The very first week when OUR sister training leaders oriented us and visited us that night, we thought it would be so fun to get called as sister training leaders. and now we did!!! And it’s only our third week!!! Holy cow it’s already our third week... time is FLYING! It’s like when you're rollerblading down a hill. You start out slow but before long you're going so fast and you want it to slow down but it won't! SO today was testimony meeting and it was really cool! The one district who's leaving tomorrow sang this song and it made me cry! I'm going to be so sad to see them leave. So apparently I'm supposed to be writing down all spiritual stuff in here, but I don't know what to write. I mean, yeah the spirit is way strong here, but what else should I say about it? If I get any cool experiences I'll totally write about them. but until then, I hope you are cool with hearing about all the weird stuff that goes on here. So the paper came the other day that summons you to Salt Lake so you can get your Visa, so hooray cause our visas are here!!! and HW and I get to go on a field trip tomorrow!  And it'll be just like a trip home for HW. SO today was fast Sunday. and actually it’s not that bad at the CCM cause you're so busy all the time and you don't even think about your hunger. Until dinner time anyway when you realize you're starving so you devour your meat and potatoes in a very unladylike manner... Anywho we have to go to a testimony meeting now for the district who's leaving tomorrow (our zone does that the night before any district leaves) and so I have to go now and say goodbye to them:( wish me luck not freezing to death! PS It snowed today!
Hermana W and Hermana Smith
Snowing in Provo

11/4- So today we got to go to Salt Lake to the Mexican consolate to get our visas. And we sat at the train station for like 45 minutes and walked like 3 blocks in the snow. It was super fun though! The group we went with consisted of 4 elders and 4 hermanas including us, and all of us are going to Merida on the same date! So it was cool to meet other people in the same boat as us!  They seemed pretty cool. Two of them are from Mesa, and one of those is M P’s friend Elder R! haha it was fun getting to know him. But apparently it was a really rough day for HW cause she broke down tonight.. and I feel like the worst companion cause I didn't even notice anything was wrong all day! And she's better now cause Hermano C (their teacher) talked to her and he's the coolest. Today I got this super awesome package from Angie today and it was an ENTIRE apple pie! haha - we're not allowed to open packages in the classroom so it was just sitting there unopened on the table for a while, and Hermano C starts writing all over it with his marker during the lessson, and HD says "umm hey what if she doesn’t want you to write on that...?" and he says, " I don't care.." and keeps on drawing on it. But it was way cute! He wrote: Hermana Smith, usted es una buena misionera. Español es muy bonito, por y para, le amor, Hmo Cuadra. and he drew a picture of himself next to it. I took a picture of it.  He's such a good teacher! Anywho so we're walking home and we stop by the vending machines cause H S just really needed chips for some reason, and our elders are in there!! So we break open the pie and start digging in with forks with our elders! And apparently it’s like the best thing ever cause HW and HD practically inhale it in like 30 seconds, and Elder C practically starts crying. And I normally don’t even eat apple pie but I HAD to try some and it was amazing! Angie is so sweet! Anyway today was a weird day. but awesome.  But it’s so true that Satan works so hard on us missionaries. I guess this is like a normal thing that every emotion is like super magnified (like when you turn into a vampire) cause every stupid little thing makes you cry.

 Apple Pie from Angie
 Usted es una buena MISIONERA!

Sam and her Spanish Teacher

Ok I have one last journal entry but I'm WAY over our allotted time for emails so I'll write it to you in a letter! Love you all!

Hermana Smith

Sunday, November 3, 2013

MTC Hi-jinx and...learning to teach!

Hello world and all who inhabit it.

Thanks for the Dear elders! Getting a  dear elder (or any mail for that matter) is like the CCM equivalent of winning the lottery. (note from Camille- Hermana Smith's mom, you can send her an email on Dear and they will print it off and give it to her same day- free of charge if you send it before noon. Or the following day if it's after noon. She is in the Provo MTC West, Unit 815 if you send something to her.  If you send an email she won't see it until her p-day on Wednesday)

Well I've decided that the easiest way to send out this email is to just write you guys what I wrote in my journal, so here’s what happened this week, as told by my journal:

10/24- Um Shoot me. Our new teacher is a model. how the heck are we gonna be able to focus on our work when a model is teaching us. Ugh. My life is so hard. Ok I've noticed I’m starting to say a lot of the same stuff my companions are saying... haha "My life is so hard" is an Hermana W original. So funny story, the other day we were doing laundry and somehow- don’t ask me how cause it escapes me- Hermana W got her laundry bag caught in her sweater. like legit stuck and we couldn’t get it out.... and she says: "why is my life so hard??????" hahaha ohh it was funny at the time... 

10/25- So our first teacher Hermano C is the coolest. He told us this story about how he met his wife and it's ADORABLE!!!!!!!!! Hermana W literally started crying and I was on the verge. but he met her at a YSA activity here in UT and at the time he was living in Spain (Yes our teacher is Spanish and he’s amazing but his accent is super funny. it sounds like a Spanish lisp.) and he saw her at once and immediately fell in love with her before even talking to her and he couldn't even speak English and so he made his friend translate for him and he was just visiting for a week and he proposed to her after A WEEK! But now they're happily married and they have an adorable little girl.

Anyway I've never laughed so hard in my life than today. So the elders do this thing here called "spooning" and it’s where they sneak spoons out of the cafeteria and put them in each others pockets or bags or whatever, and it way funny when they find this random spoon in their pocket. Elder C always gets spooned and his reactions are hilarious cause he's such a chill guy and so quiet all the time, but he HATEs getting spooned so it’s pretty funny. So today, we snuck a spoon into his water bottle, we don’t know if he's seen it yet... haha pranking here is so fun!!! So HW and I are trying to start this thing called alarm clocking, where you hide an alarm clock in someones room and set it for a random time, and stick a note to it and when it goes off they have to find it and get the note. We did that to the new district we got last week (6 elders) but we gave them candy cause we're nice. Anyway it’s catching on and these other elders in our zone tried it to these other guys, but they put it in their bedroom in the vents, and set it for like 3am. We're not that mean. But there’s lots of pranking that goes on in our zone... it’s funny. So elder J is convinced that their room is haunted by a ghost, cause apparently when they wake up in the morning, their room is all rearranged  different from how it was when they went to bed. (Like doors open and lights on and stuff.) So today in class he drew this hilarious diagram on the whiteboard describing how they're going to catch said ghost. It was sooo funny. Our elders rock. So I got a package today!!!!! Angie sent us pumpkin bread!:)) Muy delicioso!

10/26- OK Hermano C class is officially my favorite part of the day. He told us today that he helps his wife make cute little headbands for his daughter and watches the bachelor... In other news, Shelley is the coolest and has given me 2 dear elders so far! I just wish I could send one back!!  Also, we had a lesson on stress management tonight which I'm pretty sure stressed me out even more. Also, I'm trying to be more selfless. It’s harder than it sounds. 

10/27- Sunday's are the BEST! My zone is the BEST! My companion is the BEST! I love the CCM!

10/28- Holy toledo español es MUY deficíl!!! So today we had our first lesson with "Ignacio" (Its really Hermano C but he pretends to be this investigator and we have to teach him) SO they put you in this room with this brick wall and you're supposed to find out what the heck that brick wall needs in it’s life, then teach it how the gospel can help make it’s life better, but you have no way of communicating with it, and it feels like each question you ask it is completely pointless. Ok so it's not really a brick wall, but he might as well be!! Its ridiculous! Our last investigator was this chick "Maria", and I thought THAT was hard, but she was a walk in the park compared to "Ignacio". This is the only time I've really thought about going home. I literally don’t know if I can do this. I MUCH prefer hermano C as our teacher. He's more pleasant that way. IN other news, my companion is completely smitten with hermano H our dreamy new teacher. Anywho, yesterday, we went to choir practice (Theres 2 a week, one on sunday and one on Tuesday before the performance of the song at the devotional, but we usually just go to the practice on Sunday, and skip the actual performance on Tuesday hah cause some of my companions don’t want to be on camera... but I just don’t like missing class.) but this week we're singing "be still my soul" and we decided to try being altos for a day. Little do I know, HW doesn’t know how to read music at all!! HA! She’s so cute. During the rehearsal she turns to me and says: " wait, so how come some of these things (The notes) are all black and some aren't filled in at all?" haha ohhh I miss people like S and my choir friends. haha but we got to have an emergency music reading lesson in the middle of rehearsal. it was fun. Also, can we talk about how adorable my companion is? ( the whole "Can we talk about...." thing is an hermana D original) you just need to meet her. so smiley and hilarious. Hermana W tries to fake be all gangsta sometimes and her thing is like shortening words to the point that it’s just ridiculous. like she says "mis" instead of miserable. and she calls the elders EJ and EC and EF (Elders J, C, and F) and the other day she was like: "our lesson tomorrow is gonna be so H!" and hermana D and I just looked at each other like... what?? haha how are we supposed to know what that means?? Haha but she wears matching stripey little kid long-john-style pjs, and big glasses and a retainer that gives her a lisp, so at night she’s a big dork but I love it. haha. 
PS. 2 more dear elders from S today!!!

10/30- Lo Siento! I forgot to write yesterday!  Some of the girls in our zone were talking about dressing up tomorrow, but I don't know what we'd do! This one girl Hermana M could totally be Mary Poppins, but I think the girls were planning on doing "Hairspray" like 50's and stuff. Anywho I'm excited. Also, Hermano C did a back somersault yesterday to make HD smile. 
ok times up!! There’s my week! Talk to you guys later!! 

-Hermana Smith

Monday, October 28, 2013

P-day is Wednesday!! Favorite day of the week :)

So my P-days are on Wednesdays so that's when I'll be able to email you back. For dear elder our unit number is 815 I believe, and the address for sending letters or packages or whatever is: 

Provo Missionary Training Center
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604
United States

I miss you all too!  So M took me to temple square for the first time the day before I came to the MTC and it was AMAZING! its rreally pretty there and way huge! Ok I totally understand why people write a novel in their weekly emails cause there's so much to say!!!!! Where to begin? So I would LOVE to get dear elders from you and everyone else who would be willing to cayuse they're kinda a big deal here. Like every day mi companera will check the mail and ALWAYS there will be something for her in there. me and this other hermana in my district are the only people who haven't gotten any mail from home yet....:( but my companions mom is already sending me a package haha so its ok.

MY COMPANION: Ok her name is Hermana W and I LOVE her!!! She is the cutest funniest girl ever and I'm so glad shes my companion!! The first day I met her I was a little skeptical cause she was like wayy too smiley and happy and I thought it would get annoying but I LOVE it! She's super optimistic and encouraging and has the same sense of humor as me. Just think of Hailey my cousin. Thats EXACTLY how she is. Seriously she reminds me so much of  Hailey. But yeah we're pretty much best friends now, and she's my roommate, along with 2 other Hermanas that I love just as much! like the 4 of us just get along so well! The other two are Hermama D who is super great and funny and way sassy and sarcastic so her and I get along soo well, and Hermana S who is just super sweet.

So I never thought the CCM (MTC) would be this FUN! I just mostly thought it would be a lot of studying and praying and stuff, and it totally is, but I have never laughed so much in my life. Seriously, hermana w and I just laugh our heads off every single day and we already have so many funny stories that we've either experienced ourselves, or have heard from the older hermanas in our zone. oh and our zone is WAYY fun too!! Today our zone leaders and sister training leaders (They're all in the same district) all left today for Argentina and we had a testimony meeting for them last night and it was way cool! And even though we've only known them for a week it feels like we've known them for months!! Kinda like EFY. Actually the ccm reminds me so much of EFY. Its amazing how time works here, The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days!! Like, the first week FLEW by and it feels like we JUST got here yesterday, but I can't even remember what I had for breakfast this morning cause it was so long ago!! Its weird.

So pretty much what we do all day is wake up, get ready, go to our classroom, PAUSE. Ok so we aren't on the main MTC campus, we're on the west campus, which is about 10 minutes away from the main campus. All of the spanish speaking misionaries are here which is cool cause every time you pass someone you can be like "Hola, como esta?" and they'll be like "Muy bien, y tu?" and you totally understand what they're saying whereas on the main campus where ALL the other languages are, you could be like "Hello!" Or "hola!" or whatever, and they'd be like ishdfgsoiudfngfckelsdkfh back and you're Haha and everyone says our food is way better and our rooms are way bigger and nicer so that's fun! but what I'm getting at is that the west campus is just like some housing units that were bought out by the mtc after like a zillion misionaries put in there papers and they needed more room, so our classroom is like some apartment room, and our cafeteria is like some portable mobile home thing, and for gym, we just play 4 square or something outside our apartments. its like recess. its fun. i'm getting really good at 4 square. PLAY. so we go to our classroom/ apartment thing and study for like an hour, then its breakfast, then usually just personal/companion study/ language study/ whatever with breaks for lunch, gym, dinner, and district meetings or devotionals or whatever. needless to say, we're pretty well acquainted with our classroom. and our district. and our teacher, hermano cuadra. He's the coolest.

 OH! funny story about hermano C, he was P N's companion for a while while he was on his mission! He told us this super cool story yesterday about this family in Chile that he was going to baptize, but then he got emergency transferred with PN, or Elder N I guess, to this mission in chile that has been closed for like 8 years or something, where he met this SAME FAMILY'S son who had gone off the deep end and taught him, but then he took off and he went his whole mission not knowing what happened to that guy, until the very last day or something, where he ran into the whole family at this temple and got to watch them being sealed with each other. it was so cool!! I wish I could tell you guys all the story's I've heard but this email would be entirely too long!!! And I don't know who all is reading this now, but mom you should forward it to the C's cause that might be cool for them to hear. OHMYLANTA! I need peoples emails! Or I need them to email me!  and tell everyone to dear elder me pleasee!!!

OK about my district, elders F, C, and Jensen are our elders, along with me, and the other three hermanas. We party in class. not really, we actually just study and try to learn Spanish, but sometimes it feels like a party. And Spanish is coming along! I'm surprised how fast too! Well I guess not fast, but I'll just realize that I can totally remember  ALOT of what I've learned, even after just hearing a word once or something! Like, in our first investigator lesson (Which was on the SECOND DAY mind you) I would be able to kinda sorta talk to her with words that I just heard her using, and I could figure out what they mean... does that make sense? Anywho we have to teach her again tonight and I'm WAYY nervous but Hermana W seems pretty chill. hopefully it'll only get easier! 

Anywho I dont know if you got my one letter I sent you,  if the gov't is still on lockdown or whatever, that would probably affect how fast letters get to you guys, but I sent one on my second day in the ccm. and in case you didn't get it yet, I'll just tell you again, I did NOT pack right. it's muy FRIO here and I have like one wimpy raincoat... and no jeans. SOO that being said, I made a list of things that I was HOPING, if you loved me, you could send me? :D

SO today is pday, and we get to go to the temple today, and we did our laundry this morning, andddd we go to brighams landing which is apparently really fun, OH! and BYU is going to be so awesome. Hermana D went there and we're already planning on hanging out together there when the mish is over. Ok well there's so much more I need to tell you guys, but my hour is almost up and I haven't written anyone else yet!! let the record show that I spend all my time emailing people who don't even bother to send me mail or dear elders or ANYTHING... chiste chiste chiste!! I know you couldn't haha. Anywho, I love you all!! Tell Miranda to send me an email from her account!! I'll try to send pictures but i dont know if i can..... ok love you! Hasta Luego!

ok I got the pictures to work , the first is me y mi companera, hermana W, the first day I met her. the second is just all the hermanas in our district/ my roomates