|My district (and Hermano Gomez) at the temple.|
Companion: Hermana Katie Neeleman
Hermana Neeleman's Blog Post: Week Three
This week has felt super strange. It feels like it has been forever since I have written home (probably because our p-day was switched from Tuesday to Thursday. More on that later). Anyway, life is good here at the CCM. I'm starting to feel like I am getting the hang of things here. We'll have to see how things turn out when I get to the mission field.
On Wednesday, we watched a big world-wide missionary devotional. Lots of apostles and other general authorities spoke, and I feel like I really learned more about what I should be doing to better teach the people that I have been called to serve. Right before the meeting started, they were going up and down the aisles asking if anyone knew how to play the piano and Hermana Neeleman volunteered me. I got her back by volunteering her to lead the music. Anyhow, they asked us to go up and lead all the missionaries in two songs. We both thought that one would be the opening song and the next would be the closing song, so after we finished the first song we went back to our seats. It turned out that there were two opening songs, so everyone was looking around to tell us to come back up. That was an awkward walk back up the aisle.
After the meeting, our branch president, Presidente Machado, pulled me and Hermana Neeleman aside. He asked us if we wanted to be the new Sister Training Leaders. Now, we have been trying to get to know the other Hermanas in our zone. Hopefully, we will be able to help them make it through the MTC.
I know that I have been talking a lot about how nice the weather is here. There is one downside to this, and I will tell you in the form of a story. Sometimes, during the afternoon, we will go outside to do our group Book of Mormon study. This week, when we were outside, I noticed something on the side of my scriptures. I thought that it was the gooey grass that you get when you mow the lawn, so I wiped it off with my hand and wiped my hand on the grass. It took the gold paint off the sides of my Spanish scriptures. I didn't think about it anymore. . . until I got back in the room. Hermana Leslie looked at me and said, "I am sorry that a bird pooped on your scriptures." I was so grossed out, I thought that I would throw up. Even thinking back on the moment, I start to feel a little sick. I washed my hands so many times that day!
I think that I had the saddest experience of my life this week -- p day was moved back. One of the Elders in my district is staying in Mexico, so he had to go to the consulate today so that he could remain here legally. However, that meant that we all had to have our p day on Thursday instead of on Tuesday. We learned this on Monday. That morning, Hermana Neeleman and I had just been talking about how much we were looking forward to p day and how it would make the entire week go by faster. When we heard the news, we were heartbroken. I felt like it was Christmas Eve and someone came and told me that Christmas had been moved to February. In the end, it turned out fine.
|My gross knuckles. I don't know if you can see it very well in the picture,|
but my knuckles have been drying out and cracking like crazy.
Maybe it is payback for all the times that I have talked
about how nice the weather is down here.
I think that I have realized that my experience on my mission has just been one awkward experience after another. For example, we are teaching two "investigators" right now, Mario and Rodrigo (really Hermano Hernandez and Hermano Gomez). We teach one each day, and normally the lessons go fairly well. Both of them have agreed to be baptized! Anyway, the other day, we were teaching Rodrigo. Right before we went in to go to the lesson, Hermana Neeleman asked me to confirm the name of who we were teaching. I laughed at her a little, so I guess what happened next was karma. During the lesson, I said the opening prayer. However, instead of praying for Rodrigo, I started praying for Mario. After the prayer was over, Hermano Gomez looked at me and asked, "Who is Mario?" That would have been embarrassing enough, but later in the lesson, I was trying to be serious and get a point across, so I looked "Rodrigo" right in the eyes and called him Mario again! Hermana Neeleman and Hermano Gomez made fun of me all day long for that.
Later that same day, we were sitting next to some Latina sisters during the devotional. I made some polite conversation with them before the meeting started. During the meeting, I glanced over and saw that the Hermana who was sitting next to me had really nice handwriting. Then she saw me looking at her notebook. I wanted to assure her that I was not trying to peep at what she had written, so I tried to tell her that she had beautiful handwriting. However, I think that what I ended up communicating was that I thought that what she had written was beautiful. She gave me a weird look, and we didn't say anything else after that.
I have been feeling pretty good about my life lately. Yesterday, I realized just how far I have come in Spanish. We were helping the incoming missionaries and one of them asked me how learning the language was coming. I told her that I came in with almost no Spanish and that now I am able to go into my lessons without having to write down a script of things to say. I just take in my Spanish scriptures and a outline in English. I know that my Spanish is not even close to perfect, but I do feel like I have been progressing. I am so happy to be here and I am even more excited to be able to go out soon and to serve the people in California. I am so grateful for the influence that the Gospel has had in my life and I hope that I will be able to spread that influence with others.
I love you all and I hope that you are all doing well.