Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Week 1 in the MTC

*We found out Audrey's departure date from Mexico to Kansas will be on July 22nd!

Marly is the best. And yes, love my cut-out head. I'm guessing that was Annette's gift! Please tell her thank-you :) Good for you and Cara not to worry about a full-body cardboard cut-out.

How is the youth doing? Fabulous, I'm sure. I miss them and love them so much. I thought about texting Saydi on Saturday to see how EFY went......that thought didn't go very far, as I'm sure you can imagine....haha.

We went to bed a little late one night because we were bonding with each other and a district which we really needed as companionship - there were lots of tears as we opened our hearts up to each other - but, I was SOOOO afraid for the lesson the next day because since we weren't obedient about getting to bed on time, I was worried that we wouldn't have the spirit....but I think it went okay.

Okay. Mexico is beautiful. The CCM is gorgeous with green grass and green tress and green parrots!!! The CCM is on like 90 acres so we have TONS of space for only like 300 missionaries. It's kinda crazy. Wednesday after I e-mailed you, we unpacked and I felt a little homesick, but I found comfort in the Savior and have been great ever since then! :)

Thurs: time flies but goes SOOOO slowly here. Haha it's weird. I know a little bit more Spanish than my comps do so they ask me all the time how to say things. I taught them my simple testimony that Cara helped me with - thanks! I remember a lot from high school surprisingly - it's doing me well! I just am praying a lot for humility and the gift of tongues so I can continue to learn more in a quick amount of time. Please pray for me! 
On this day we had a few meetings with the new missionaries (there are about 60 of us - so crazy compared to how it would be in Provo) - some with President Pratt. We had a tour of the CCM complete with big green circles for earthquake gathering places...? haha. We had our first meeting with our teacher where the Spanish started so that was fun. A lot of the elders and sisters in my district were overwhelmed, but I'm just so excited to learn more!! 

The best thing happened today. We taught an investigator named Carla (we being my district and another district). We observed the teaching of some other missionaries then made suggestions then got to continue the lesson by ourselves and it was awesome. She was struggling to know God loved her so I bore my testimony to her that she can see God's love through the blessings He has already given her like her family, her home, the air she breathes makes her body work somehow....and I felt the Spirit so strongly.
Another Hermana taught her how to pray so at the end of the lesson I invited her to pray for us. She was nervous and unsure but she did it anyway! And she felt so OVERJOYED. It was the best thing ever. I am so happy to be a missionary.

Friday: Since we 3 girls are the only sisters in our district, we got called as Sister Training Leaders! The biggest thing that happened today was that we taught our "Investigator" (he's not legit) for the first time. His name is Enrique. I was seriously super disappointed in myself after this lesson. We didn't introduce ourselves as missionaries, didn't start the lesson with a prayer, didn't even get to know him....it was just not good. I definitely felt I put my years of mission prep and splits to shame...I offered to pray at the end then realized I didn't know how to pray in Spanish. 
We taught Carla in English and that was a breeze! Spanish is a whole nother story...So my spirits were a little down after the lesson...but Hermana Ballard was SO happy. It was such a change in her mood - I think it made her realize the fun in missionary work and helped her realize why she is here. It was cool to see how something that I was down about and saw as a trial could make someone else so happy! She was a good example. This lesson definitely motivated me to work harder to learn the language and develop my teaching techniques.

Saturday: Hermana Ballard didn't get breakfast. Hermana Adams and I loaded up on food and as I was blessing mine.....I got the feeling to fast with Hermana Ballard. I stared at my yummy looking food for a long time before I finally decided to tell my comps my decision. Now this was a hard decision because almost everyday at the CCM they tell us not to waste food....awkward. Hahaha so we went and threw away our trays full of food so we could fast with Hermana Ballard as a companionship. What a blessing that was in our day.
We had another lesson with Enrique about prayer and the spirit. At the end, this was unplanned, I got the thought to invite him to be baptized...I didn't know how to say it, but I just went with it. hahaha I asked him if he would get baptized when he had prayed and knew that the Book of Mormon and LDS church was true and he said YES!!!! Biggest smiled EVERRRRRRRR. Hahaha my comp said that she was kinda getting distracted, then she heard the word for baptism and was like WHAT?! Haha it was pretty funny, but we were so stoked!!

Sun: Sundays are awesome!!! We had lots of meetings. I didn't get to speak in Sacrament and I was bummed...that was weird. But! I did play the piano for us!! That was fun. Presidente and Hermana Pratt were there in our meeting with us. That was cool. We had a devotional with Elder Holland (just a video) that really buoyed me up and made me want to be the best missionary ever! We watched a couple vids about the stonecutter and faith in Christ and afterward had a discussion with the Elders in our district. It was AMAZING. We really bonded as a district at that time. We opened our hearts and it was really hard not to hug the Elders afterwards. We were all just bawling. We all just feel so blessed to be here through the Atonement of Christ. It is truly such a blessing to know that we can be cleansed of all our misdeeds then come out here and represent Him and share His message - so powerful.

I'm gonna end on that note! Please keep your prayers coming. I love you all so much. Thank-you for all the support. You are in my prayers always.

Con todo mi corazon y mi amor,

Hermana Shumway

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