This is my email address, so next p-day (On Thursday) hopefully I will have something waiting from you!
I have been dying to talk to you since my first night. not out of feeling homesick, but just to share how things have been and what I've learned.
You hear stories that missionaries cry their first night here or for the first week or two, but I don't get that! I don't know how one couldn't love it here. Yes, you feel very inadequate, but we don't have to do this alone and the rewards are so great. We are the lucky ones.
So I am in a threesome with two other companions. Hermana Herrera is from Mexico originally and then from Phoenix, and is perfectly biligual. She is going to New Jersey. Hermana Cruz is from Honduras. She doesn't understand English perfectly. It has been a little hard because I want to speak Spanish all the time, but they don't need to practice their Spanish, and Hermana Cruz wants to practice English, because she is going to New Mexico and is studying to be an English teacher. But when they do talk in Spanish I don't really understand because they're so fast. But sometimes I truly do feel help from God. Sometimes, especially as we've taught our "investigators" I just open my mouth and say things that I wouldn't normally know how to say. I have no extreme examples, but I just do feel extra help and I am so thankful for it.
But my companions are the best. They have had lives that are much harder than mine but have the strongest testimonies. I love them and feel very blessed to be their companion.
My district is us three, and three elders and one other gringa sister going to Dominican Republic MTC after three weeks here. She and I are the only gringas. Our district is so great. Last night, out of nowhere, each of the elders started telling us what good examples we are to them, and how thankful they are for the faithful women in their lives. One of our elders said his sister left on a mission when he was 17 and she just got back and taught him so much. Yesterday in general was a real bonding day for our district. Hermana Hererra and I laughed a lot about a couple different things. It was just a really great day. I wish everyone could be a missionary for one week in the MTC. I'm already a changed person.
David Archuleta has class on our same floor. One of our elders, Elder Mena, always wants a picture with him and uses us as an excuse. Yesterday we were walking down the hall when he was coming out of his classroom, and Elder Mena asked if we could get a picture with him, pointing to us sisters as if we were the ones who wanted it. He said he was trying to refrain from pictures but asked us our names and where we were going. I asked him if he was in advanced Spanish and he said yes, but he shouldn't be. He asked if I was, and I said yes, but I shouldn't be (actually though I love being in advanced). He is so short! And he wears the tightest missionary pants, haha. During our gym time yesterday I creeped on him doing ab work for all 20 laps that I ran around the track (that's only 2 miles though).
Whenever I do classic missionary things like put on my nametag or walk around the MTC with my companions, I just take a step back and realize what I'm doing. I am so thankful for the incredible opportunity to be a missionary. I don't know if anyone realizes what a blessing it is. I feel so lucky and blessed. This truly is a dream come true. I wouldn't rather be anywhere else. The Spirit is everywhere.
Tomorrow is Sunday and I am so excited. There will be three General Authorities here for Easter. I think it will be the most spiritual day because it will be in English. I feel the spirit in our classes but not as much as if it was in English, because I have to concentrate so much on what I'm going to say and what is being said. But I love class. We have two three-hour classes a day, and I love it. Our teachers are pretty good. We teach them as if they were investigators which is really good practice.
I really wish I didn't have to give up my first name. No one wants to call me by my name because it is hard to pronounce, so they just say hermana or slaughter my last name. And I love my first name. But c'est la vie.
Thank you for the Dear Elders! They really make me so happy. Write me what you want to know about MTC life.
I wish I could find my camera cord so I could send you pictures. Mom, you would probably tear up when you see me with my nametag on. I have to say I nearly cried when I put it on. Such a good feeling.
I love you and love the gospel! I know that it can help everyone, no matter if they realize they need it in their lives or not. I am learning so much. This is God's work and I'm overwhelmingly grateful I get to be a part of it. Thank you for your examples which helped me to make it on my mission!
Your Sister Missionary,