July 05, 2014

What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas (Week 3)

well i have officially hit my halfway point here at the MTC!  2 1/2 weeks left, and then I will be on my way to Monterrey.  The MTC has been great, and the days really do go by so fast--buttttt i'm so ready to leave!  This week I recieved so many great letters and packages- big thanks yous to Tiffany, nancy sutter, chloe bray and her wonderful fam, angie, kyle, mom, katie barrus, the wainwrights, both sets of grandparents, the wisemans, and all the emails i recieved.  It means so much feeling your love and support! ALSO BIG MUCHAS GRACIAS TO KYLE RICHES for sending me this personalized scripture cover he had made for me in Chile!!!! the details are incredible and words can't describe how much i love it!  even with the monterrey temple on the back- amazing!
INCREÍBLE-so so cool Kyle. Thank you so much for this special gift!
yesterday i got to go on a little adventure to LAS VEGAS to pick up my visa for mexico!  It was a long day waking up at 4 am and not getting back to provo until 10 pm.  When we were waiting for our flight, a missionary by our gate was on his way back home to orange county, ca.  it was really interesting talking to this missionary at the end of his mission, and here we are just beginning.  You could tell by the look on his face that he was really sad to be going home! He served in the salt lake city spanish speaking mission, and he just went on and on about how much he loved it.  He expressed how jealous he was of us for having this whole adventure ahead of us.  Some "advice" he gave us was:  "Don't spend your mission being stressed- be happy"  "write down every tender mercy and blessing you recieve each day"  "work hard every single day until that flight home"--these three things can apply to life, not just a mission.

it felt kinda strange being in the "real world" with my plaque haha!  It's safe to say us 10 missionaries stood out in the Vegas airport among the slot machines and glitter decor.  I had to refrain from breaking into "oops I did it again" when passing by big billboards of Britney Spears.  A senior missionary picked us up, and we went to a church building near the airport and talked about mexico and important info to know.  It was also sweltering temperature of 115 degrees outside-- good prep for mexico.  The following is some tidbits of info that I have been informed of:

-don't bring/wear jewelry...for it will be stolen off your body in a matter of seconds
-the majority of people will not own fridges/stoves
-they cook their food outside on hot plates- the only thing people really do in their homes is sleep
- they do not refrigerate things such as mayo, eggs, and milk--and it's totally fine to eat them haha
- the only food that is safe to eat off the streets is corn on the cob because they boil them in water
- if i drink/brush my teeth with unfiltered water I will have paresites the rest of my life..... 
- "waldos"- the only store that sells peanut butter #veryimportant
- "bubalubas"- the only really good chocolate candy they have #alsoveryimportant
- they have walmarts and a variety of american brands...yay haha!
- you can't eat berries because you can't effectively clean them
- i'm not sure what my hot water situation is going to be like....so i shall prepare for a variety of types of showers hahaha
-beware of cockroaches
-mail system is not reliable
-and.  they have diet coke.

I'm in for an adventure!  also what's really cool is this is the first time they are sending american sister missionaries to mexico in the last 25 years, so we are the "pioneer generation" and could be going into areas that have never had sister missionaries before!  I really hope my first companion is native so i can be immersed in the language.
this week we started to teach a real investigator which has been so fun.  My 2 comps and I have had 2 lessons with Gabrielle, a byu student originally from Mexico.  She has so much happy energy and just ratlles of spanish so quickly- AND I CAN UNDERSTAND!  She is very impressed that we can converse with her--- teaching lessons just gets easier and easier.  El Don de Lenguas es verdadero people.  The gift of tongues is real.  She really wants to develop a closer relationship with Heavenly Father and learn more about the purpose of this life.  When we talk with her, she has the biggest smile on her face and just has so many great, well thought out questions for us.  We will be teaching her these next 2 weeks.

Because it is our 4th week here, we are expected to speak spanish SIEMPRE.  always.  Since the first day, in hermana cabello's words... !INGLÉS ESTÁ MUERTO!  english is dead.  but yes, it is frustrating being told you have to speak in spanish all the time, but you really do learn the language so much faster.  

I met a sister missionary the other day from Armenia and she is going to the San Francisco mission!  I informed her that it was the best place/ mission.... ;)  she is on her 8th week out of 9 weeks here and her english is really good!  She has learned it for the first time here at the MTC.  It's amazing meeting people from all over the world going to all different places.

Last sunday my 2 comps and I sang "Beautiful Savior" in church and it was so beautiful!  It's great being in a companionship where both girls have good ears for music!  We quickly put together 3 part harmony, and everyone loved it!
when all of the girls in your district are cool enough to wear the same shirt in different colors...
Everyday on the mission they emphasize how much this work isn't about you.  They really ingrain in you that you are here to serve Heavenly Father and your investigators.  It's a period in your life where you can solely focus on others' needs besides your own and learn to love others and adopt christ-like attributes.  You really learn so many lessons about having humility.  You go your whole life making decisions for yourself, you're told in college that it's the most selfish time of your life, and then you have to suddenly switch your mindset into only thinking about other people's problems but your own.

Key quotes from this week's lessons and devotionals:

"everyday we choose if today is going to be a good day or a bad day"
"we think of tomorrow too much- enjoy today"
"people don't know what's in your heart- so tell them"
"how people feel about themselves is often dictated by how you treat them"
"deflect the light from yourself"
"christ turns INWARDS when we would turn OUTWARDS"
"if you are converted unto the Lord, you will never go astray"
"be converted to the Lord, not the church"

We watched a video here of a famous MTC talk by Elder Bednar called "character of christ"- not sure if you can find it online but it is the best talk i've ever heard!  I wish I could write every single note from that video but I don't have time- Moral of today's post:
- Turn OUT to others with love, service, and compassion
- "get over yourself"
- study characteristics of christ and adopt his attributes

John 15:13 "greater love hath no man than this, that a man may lay down his life for his friends"

Christ loves us.  God loves us.
seeing BYU friends everyday is the best! shout out to SISTER LIZZIE BLACK for arriving this week learning Romanian :)
c o n  a m o r
hermana riches

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