03 September 2013

First week.

Side note:
don't send packages to MTC. We can't get them here. it takes 2 weeks to get and send letters.
Hola familia! Mi nombre es Hermana Nelson. Soy es una missionera de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los ultimos dias. Soy un sirviente de Jesucristo!
How´s my spanish? Yeah, you like?
Thank you all SOO much for the emails! I wanted to cry when I opened up my email. Then I actually did start crying when the internet went out and some guy who I could barely understand told us we would have to come back tomorrow. Yeah. I flipped. I realized how much I love you guys at that moment. And how much I love slash hate emails. But mostly love so keep them coming!
The MTC is amazing here! It's a TON smaller than Provo, so we get to know each other a lot better. I have four other hermanas and four Elders in my district. There are a lot of sisters here! They are pretty much all younger than me. It´s a little weird. Some just graduated high school. I feel like a grandma sometimes, but we are all on the same level here at the MTC and all very new to this whole missionary thing, so esta bien (it´s good). I am adjusting to having a person by my side 24/7. My companion´s name is Hermana Burrell. She is really sweet! The companionships are def inspired, because every companionship is so perfect. We are similar in a lot of ways and are both excited to get to work. I love her! Each room has six girls in it. My roommates are way loco! In a good way. They are a ton of fun. Almost too much fun. Most nights we end up playing would you rather (...have a nose for a bum, or a bum for a nose?) or talking about everyone´s illness... la siempres or nuncas. I´ll let whoever knows spanish figure that one out. When we arrived here, most the missionaries were sick because of stomach bug that was going around. They had to wear masks to prevent the spread. Yes, even in Peru they have Public Health. It was the talk of the MTC this week. Hence the siempres or nuncas...
The language. Yes, it´s crazy. Not sure what I´m saying or what everyone else is saying. Our teachers only speak spanish. However, I am really surprised at how much I can understand! I can understand everything that they are saying to us... maybe not every word, but I understand concepts. They are also really really good at teaching! They speak slowly and use a lot of expression so it helps us understand what they are saying. I don´t know how I would be able to do this if I had any other purpose than serving a mission and sharing the gospel. El don del lenguas es muy verdadero! (The gift of tongues is very real!) One of our teachers, Hermano Bajar... Oh he is hilarious! We have this joke at the MTC... the americans decided to translate the phrase "What in the world?!". It doesn't make sense in spanish, but we all say it anyway... "Que en el mundo?!". Bajar is just so expressive and fun, yet he knows how to bring the spirit to any lesson. He stresses the importance of not stressing about the language, but focusing on increasing your testimony and most importantly, having the spirit with you. Es MUY importante!!
Sunday. The bomb dot com. Holy cow. It was an incredible day. It was fast and testimony meeting. The spirit here and peace I feel here is already incredible, but hearing the testimonies of so many missionaries, their stories and struggles, was the greatest thing ever. I realized that day that I am becoming really emotional. There´s no hope in holding any tears back here. I think my heart is just more easily touched by things now... if that makes any sense. One Elder bore his testimony and mentioned that he left his Mom, knowing that she would die of cancer while he is gone. Wow. Yes, I started bawling. Talk about sacrifice. My roommate bore her testimony about a talk she heard a few weeks back... the speaker said (I'm paraphrasing here), "Do you know why you can´t call your family? Or why you can´t go home for Christmas? It´s because Christ left his Father to come and serve us." That really struck me. I have never thought of it like that. Not talking to you guys all the time is hard. It´s only been a week! But I know that it is a sacrifice and the more I lose myself in the work, the easier it will be. Not to forget about you, but to just become more focused on the people, rather than my desires. We watched a Devotional that Elder Bednar gave at the Provo MTC on Christmas a few years ago. He said we need to stop being like the cookie monster saying, "ME WANT COOKIE NOOOWWW!!!" He said this work isn´t about US. It is not about what we want. It is the Lord´s work and we need to go according to His timing. He talked about how we should focus on coming to know Christ and becoming like him by "putting of the nautural man" and turning outward rather than inward. I love that. I have always known that this mission is not at all about me or what I will gain from it, but I am starting to realize how difficult it is to really give up yourself completely. Obviously there needs to be balance... but I want to lose myself in this work and become more Christlike. He was totally focused on others´ needs. I hope I can become more like him throughout my mission.
Today was Preparation Day! Woohoo!! We went to the Temple. Amazing! We went down town. crazy. I love peru! I felt so normal and comfortable walking around. Besides the fact that everyone was staring at me because we are a group of 10 white people in suits and dresses with black name tags. Weirdos.
I love it here! I love everything about this work. It´s hard! I realized it´s harder to go to bed on time than it is to wakeup on time! I know, shocker! Yes, I have been waking up at 6:30 everyday. It´s amazing what faults you can overcome when you are doing the Lord´s work. ;)
Thank you all so much for your love and support! I am trying to figure out this whole email thing, so no pics and sorry I couldn´t individually respond to you all, but one hour is a little chaotic!! I miss you so much and think and pray about you everyday!
Con Amor,
Hermana Nelson

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