Wow. What a week. So many thoughts and so little time to share. It's crazy to think that I haven't even hit my one week mark in the Missionary Training Center (MTC), and it feels like I've been here for weeks!!! So much to tell and only a few minutes to write it. First, I got my travel plans and I'm leaving for El Salvador on Monday!! Seriously can't wait!! I mean, this place is good and all, but I am SO glad I'm only here for 12 days. Which means, this is my only Preparation Day in the MTC (bummer).
And sorry for the rambled thoughts, but we don't get much time on the computer, so bear with me.
Okay, where to begin. Let's start with the comical things that have happened. First, I am definitely the oldest person out here. But that's no surprise. All the other missionaries are babies...18, 19, 20 if we're lucky. My companion is 21, but still seems like a baby to me ha. I'm older than most my teachers and such, which is just funny. For example, I decided to write down a quote everyday, just something to help me remember little things and enjoy it (thanks little bro for letting me copy you with this). Here my favorite quote for this past week, and this came from a sister in my district who is 19...and we discovered that I graduated college before she graduated high school....
"I haven't dated anyone in SUCH a long time."
My thoughts were, "You're 19...you've only been dating for 3 years of your entire life..." haha...kills me. But I just chuckled to myself and immediately wrote that down.
Things like this happen everyday and my district has started calling me the mom or the grandma of the district. "Hermana Mamita" or "Hermana Abuelita" or "Hermana sabia". Seriously though, these are children. Good times. But one thing that is good about me being older is this was my decision. I quit my job, left my "real life" and decided to go. Por eso, I'm not going to waste time. I'm here to work hard and do my best and that's what I'm going to do. Rather than some missionaries I see here who are only here to please others or their parents and waste a lot a time. I only have 18 months, if I'm not going to work hard, then why am I here? It's a good feeling and it's what pushes me everyday. It's also what makes me frustrated sometimes when dealing with others, but I'm learning lots of patience...which I guess is a good thing ha.
There are 6 of us in our district class, and I'm the only gringo. The others all know Spanish from speaking at home and such. So it's a challenge, but it feels really good to hear and speak Spanish again. I missed it. I just wish I was fluent. I can understand most of all of it when I pay attention, but speaking is more difficult, and my grammar struggles. But i know i need to be more patient with myself and with time it will come.
There are about 20 or 25 in our zone. Most have Hispanic background in some way, but there are about 3 of us who are white.
I'm the only one going to Belize/El Salvador. Most of them are going to Mexico or a few are going state side.
I live on west campus. So I'm at Wyview and Raintree. This has pros and cons. The pros are that it's ALL Spanish speaking missionary, very friendly, more open, and great. The cons are it's FREEZING in Utah and I didn't bring any warm clothes and have to wear a skirt everyday (basically like I'm wearing nothing). Oh, and the food here on west campus literally tastes like rubber and plastic. Horrendous. But...on more pro is that "Brigham's Landing" is included in our area and so we get to walk there on our P-day...so we had Great Harvest for lunch and Jamba Juice and I was in heaven.
It's quite a change to have a companion. Especially since I've lived on my own and done my own thing for 6 years. So having someone who has to come with me when I go to store or want to mail a letter is muy diferente.
It is amazing to see how much I have learned and grown in just one short week. When you take away computers, cell phones, any form of social media, and "normal" life...it's pretty crazy what you can focus on and how much you can learn and grow and how you have time for studying and growing. This 18 month adventure is going to be quite something. I'm stoked about it. But I've learned a lot about Christ and my favorite was a devotional we listened to Sunday night called "The Character of Christ". Elder Bednar said, "The character of Christ is turning outward, when all of us would normally turn inward." I wish I could describe how this really affected me, because it changed my life. Really. I adopted the theme for my mission "Turn outward". This mission isn't about me. I loved how direct Elder Bednar was. It was so refreshing. Elder Bednar said "Get over yourself. This isn't about you. It's about serving Him and following Him." And he's so right. This isn't about me. Don't feel sorry for yourself. Don't get frustrated and angry when others say rude things, or when you don't get exactly what you want. Get over yourself. Turn outward, not inward. What can you do for others? How can you help someone else? What is someone else struggling with, where you can help bear their burdens and help bring them closer to Christ. That is what this mission is about. And that is my goal for my mission. "Turn outward". I'm going to constantly strive to work on this for these next 18 months. And I'm excited to see how I can grow and grow closer to Christ and His character. I have a LONG way to go. Trust me. But I'm working each day to do my best and serve Him.
This church is true. It brings so much peace and happiness I can't even begin to describe it. I love it so much and I'm grateful for Christ and Heavenly Father's love and TONS of patience with me. Next time I write home I'll be in El Salvador!! YAAAAY!
Con mucho amor,
My Companion Sister Puig & Me
My District during Gym Time
Hermana Wright by the Provo Temple
Sisters in My District