Friday, March 27, 2015

Week 4 in the CCM: How do you say "MostlyTranquilo" en subjunctivo?

Well another week has come and gone here at the CCM.  Crayzee!   Another group of Latinos left on Tuesday, and the other group of North Americans also finished and went out into the field. The past two days have been just our district of 9 North Americans and a district of 9 Brazilians who also have two weeks left.  So there have been only 18 missionaries in the entire MTC. Talk about tranquilo, haha. 

This week has honestly been pretty good.  Things went by a little more quickly, and it helps a lot that we are now the "veterans" of the MTC, as obviously nobody has been here as long as us. 

Spanish:  Ok, so obviously I'm still learning Espanol.  Things have started to get a bit crazy technical this week, and we're straight up learning things I don't even know about in English.  Wanna explain to me the difference between present subjunctive noun clauses, present, conditional, imperfect, present imperfect subjunctive adverb clauses, etc, on and on?  I am learning more about English by learning more about Spanish though, so that's good, I guess.  #lifeskills  But honestly, I have no idea what I’m doing, even if I understand what something is, learning how to use it is an entirely different story. No lie, es mas dificil.  

(Note from Mom: I found this handy chart which totally explains the fact that Lacey barks a lot. And a dog that doesn't bark doesn't exist.)

The rule: In Spanish, the subjunctive is used in an adjectival clause when the antecedent is indefinite or unknown or is nonexistent or negated; in contrast, the indicative is used when the antecedent is a definite or existing one.
Main clause
Dependent clause
Adjectival clause
Mood of the
verb ladrar(to bark)
Reason for the use of the
subjunctive or the indicative
Tengoun perroque ladra mucho.IndicativeThere is a definite antecedent, a dog which I own.
No tengoun perroque ladre mucho.SubjunctiveThe antecedent is negated; such a dog doesn't exist.
Quieroun perroque ladre mucho.SubjunctiveThere is an indefinite antecedent; such a dog may or not exist.
(I have/don't have/want a dog that barks a lot.)

 But mostly I’m trying not to worry about it that much.  I’ve been blessed to be chill mas o menos about learning Spanish.  Don’t get me wrong, it can be hecka stressful, but I just don’t get as frustrated as a lot of the other missionaries in my district. #tooblessedtobestressed.  One day it’ll come.  Tengo fe.

Proselyting:  This week proselyting was quite a bit less successful than last week, unfortunately.  We talked to a few people but it was overall just more disheartening than last week.  We talked with this super intense guy for like 20 minutes about how religion is fantasy and how it’s like taking opium and all this crazy stuff.  And then this other guy talked to us for like an hour, but he was using the weirdest vocabulary ever and I didn’t understand 3/4ths of what he was saying.  It’s actually quite comical that 3 girls who don’t speak Spanish are going out and trying to start religious conversations.  Good times.

Sundays:  Sundays here are pretty great.  My testimony of the importance of Sundays being a day of rest has really grown since I’ve been here. We obviously don’t really “rest” here, on account of we’re busy ALL DAY LONG, but the whole day (except for one meeting) is in English, so it’s like straight up mental rest from Spanish.  I’m a big fan of the English language.  Big fan.

Progression:  So this last Sunday, I was feeling kind of depressed and sad for no particular reason.  In light of what I just said about liking Sundays, I was surprised that I wasn’t feeling all that happy.  I kind of felt like crying but I didn’t really want to on account of I just didn’t want to go there emotionally.  Anyway, so my companions and I went to our room during flex time, and Hermana S went to use the bathroom, so it was just me and Hermana N in the room.  I told her I was feeling kind of sad, and somehow (it was defs directed by the Spirit) we started having a conversation about our companionship and assessing our underlying difficulties that we hadn’t really talked about.  So she admitted to me that she and Hermana S had some things that they mutually felt (which I already knew) and I in return expressed how alone and somewhat emotionally excluded I felt from them never talking about their feelings and also obviously being more similar to each other than to me.  In the process of explaining this, I started crying, which was SO GOOD for me, because I legit haven’t cried since I’ve been here or even really expressed any of my emotional feelings.  Anyway, then Hermana S came back and I expressed my feelings to her too (while crying still…lolz) and I think it was really good for them to know how I was feeling.  And then Hermana S starting crying because she misses her little sister, and Hermana N started crying because of how good an experience she’s had since she’s been here, and it was just such a great bonding experience. It was one of the best DTR’s I ever had, lolz.  But seriously, I felt it finally helped us to get past the underlying tension that was there and try to move forward.  And honestly, things have been much better since then.  I’ve never felt closer to either of them then I have since we talked on Sunday.  It also helps a lot that Hermana S has been in a better mood this week.  And honestly, they are still VERY different from me, but they’ve been more aware of my feelings this week, and I’ve continued to learn how to allow people to NOT talk about their feelings----and to be ok with it.  It’s been V interesting to see how people get close to one another without emotional intimacy.  I still don’t really understand how people could feel close to each other without it.  #lifelessons  I think the skills I’m learning will be quite valuable in a marital relationship.  Obviously now (with my companions) I have literally no choice but to make it work.  And it’s a good skill to learn how to work through difficulties in a setting like this, you know?  #morelifeskillz

Reflections:  So this week I’ve been thinking A LOT about sacrifice, and my inability to desire to do anything that is uncomfortable.  I’ll do uncomfortable things, sure, but I don’t like it.  And I’ve begun to see very quickly on the mish that I need to take care of this weakness ASAP.  Because otherwise it’ll make me miserable ALL THE TIME.  Because guess what?  I’m uncomfortable practically every minute of every day.  And even when things are fine, I think about how they could be better. And that’s not chill.  Because I’m not going to have a good time if I keep thinking of the things I wish I had.  I KNOW I’m supposed to be here, and I choose this mission every minute of every day. So I legit need to LET GO of what I don’t have here.  If I had a penny for every time I thought about taking a nap, eating chocolate, eating fast food, listening to music, using the phone, etc, I’d be SO DANG FILTHY RICH.  I’m realizing I’m relatively selfish and I don’t want to sacrifice.  I’m willing to sacrifice (obviously, I’m here) but I don’t really want to have to sacrifice and it’s really  hit me how much I need to change that.  Since I’m choosing to be here, I need to learn how to be happier in my sacrifice.  I’ve been reflecting on Lot’s wife (Luke 17: 32-33) and how she didn’t have enough faith to believe that anything that lay ahead was better than what she had left behind.  There was a BYU devo by Holland (  and he just talked about how we need to have more faith than that. We watched 17 Miracles this past Sunday, and I was reminded once again of how much the pioneers sacrificed and how truly faithful they were.  Such an inspiration, you know?  The restoration is such an example of how powerful and fulfilling sacrifice can be.  Sacrifice truly brings forth the blessings of heaven.  Anyway, it’s a lifelong goal to develop more humility, but there’s no day like the present, amirite? I’m also learning how to sacrifice English---which is HARD. Every lesson I teach I think about how much better I could have done in English.  And then I spiral into how much better I can express myself in English, and then I fantasize about state-side missions, and all of this is BAD.  Because I’m NOT on an English-speaking mission, and even though I could defs teach better in English, it’s just NOT what God has called me to do.  And it sucks and I feel frustrated and I miss English, but I’m learning to get over it.  As in I’m not over it yet, but I pray constantly that one day I will be over it.  It’s a process, ya know?  I kind of imagined from the Gordon B. Hinckley story that “forgetting myself” would be a single decision.  But really, it’s an entire mental shift that takes TIME.  It’s not easy to forget yourself!  It’s a weird mental thing to even TRY to forget yourself.  But like I said, one day I’ll get there.  #eternal perspective

Brazilians:  OK so I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it remains true that the Brazilians here are the best!  They are SO friendly, so fun, and SO LOUD when they sing hymns it’s like nothing I’ve ever heard!  But Portuguese is CRAZY!  God defs didn’t send me to Brazil because HE KNOWS I COULD NOT HANDLE Portuguese for TWO SECONDS.  Oh my gosh it sounds like Italian mixed with Russian mixed with a snake speaking.  NO LIE. I cannot even with Portuguese.  But a lot of them speak some English and obviously they are learning Spanish, so we can communicate relatively well with them.  Good times.  And they just run around the halls yelling “fubeca” (which is the greatest word on the planet and essentially means something bad and/or like disobedient/an only-Sunday-type-of-Mormon thing).  It’s quite funny.  It’s pretty fun to have such diverse friendships.  #blessed

Anyway, overall things have been good/average-ish.  But really, things have been pretty tranquilo.  This group of Latinos was more quiet than the last.  I bonded with Hermana Larsen’s roommates though, and they were so sweet!  One of them was the one that learned English through One Direction songs.  And this other Hermana wrote me a letter before she left talking about how after the mission she hopes I can find a “Ken” to marry in the temple because they call me Barbie, haha.  SO precious.  They are so sweet. 

Ok, I love you V much!  I pray for you on the daily/more than that, and I hope you’re getting all the blessings for me being over here.  I wouldn’t say I love you more since I’ve left (because I already love you the maximum amount) but it’s deepened in a way.  I don’t know, it’s just been cool as I have to rely on prayer to feel close to you.  I just feel so grateful all the time.  Other families can’t even. 

Wish me luck with the coming week!  Every day I get through is a tiny miracle haha.  I still can’t believe I’m on a mission/am on a mission.  Legit only the power of God could have brought me here.  Too cool, huh?  

Te amo, te amo, te amo.

Con amor, Hermana Ross

PS.  D & C 58: 3-4  

 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.

 Also the song “Be Thou my Vision” by The Lower Lights. Gold.

Photos from Week 4 in Argentina

 Holly with 2 of her favorite elders from Brazil.  What to do with THE HANDS??

The Temple Posing Trio
He was a definite favorite.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Week 3 in the CCM

Well, this week has been the most "normal", I guess. Things are kind of getting regular now that I´m used to the schedule. Monotony is setting in, which is better in some ways than constant stress and angst, but it brings a whole other onset of emotions. Yesterday was my half way mark in the CCM, so that´s chill! It feels like I´ve been here 5ever though, and in some ways it´s depressing that I´m only half way done haha. Working on appreciating the moment... #lifegoals.

  The Centro de Capacitacion Misional (CCM) in Buenos Aires

Leaving the CCM!!!: So this past Saturday we went proselyting out in the ACUTAL city of Buenos Aires, which was the greatest thing ever (to actually leave the CCM for an afternoon, that is). I sometimes forget that I´m in South America, so it defs made it more real to actually go out and SEE where I am. The drivers are finsane here! I had heard that before, but it´s true! There are like almost literally no laws, LITERALLY no lanes, and forget about stop signs. It´s kind of like driving in Provo... ¡Chiste! (that means joke in Spanish). But seriously, it´s like driving around south Provo with no stop signs. They REALLY need at least A FEW! It was a good time though, because I wasn´t driving. I probz defs would have crashed if I was.

 Driving in Buenos Aires:  Good luck!

Proselyting: It went SO well! Honestly even better than I could have hoped for. Me and my companions legit just got dropped of on a corner of a street and were just like, ¨"ok, I guess we´re missionaries now..." They hadn´t told us ANYTHING to do, so we were like, ¨"what do missionaries even do on the street?..." We were in a pretty residential area, so we spent like the first 45 minutes just walking around trying to street contact, which was essentially impossible because nobody was out. So we sat down to eat our lunches, and I was feeling pretty discouraged, because I´m not a super bold person, per se, and I wasn´t really feeling super confident about just trying to talk to people randomly (IN SPANISH). So after we ate we realized we´d just have to knock doors (which here means standing outside of a gate like 10 feet from the house and either clapping or ringing a doorbell they have). It was v intimidating, and it was honestly quite scary at first. It was hard when people said no, but it was harder in other ways when people wanted to hear what we had to say, because NONE OF US SPEAK SPANISH hahaha. It was good times though. But anyway, we actually had a LOT more success than I thought. We were actually in a really nice area, so even though all the streets are trashed, the houses were like these HUGE Argentine mansions. It was like Morgan Ranch status. So we´re ringing the doorbells of all these hecka mansions, and the owners respond through the intercom, and we´re just busting out our basic Spanish vocabulary. But honestly we had a pretty solid amount of interactions despite our limited skills. We ran into three teenage girls on the street who were super super great and spoke a little bit of English, and we talked to them for like 20 minutes and gave them all a Book of Mormon! They reminded me of people that could be friends with Colin. 2 chill. And we also met a family from Paraguay! They have four children who have Guarani names, and we talked to them for like 30 minutes as well! We ended up giving away a ton of pass along cards and Book of Mormons (Books of Mormon? #theeternalstruggle), and we made 7 return appointments! Which is a ton for 3 girls walking around smiling and saying "¡¿Como está?! to literally EVERYONE! Hahaha #blessed. It was a really confidence building experience though, and it helped me maintain a little bit of sanity this week.

In the suburbs of Buenos Aires, the shanty town of La Caval sits cheek by jowl with a richer community
 An actual neighborhood illustrating the rich vs. the poor in Buenos Aires

Emotional languages: I´m learning the coolest lessons ever about how people communicate differently. And when I say "coolest", I could also say "hardest." My companions and I communicate SOOOOO DIFFERENTLY! We all get along, and we aren´t techincally that different, but our emotional languages are LITERALLY OPPOSITE!!!! When stressful/bad/annoying things happen here (which is essentially all the time), I get sad or discouraged and want/need to talk about it. They BOTH get angry and shut down and DON´T want to talk AT ALL. It´s sooooo difficult for me. There are definitely good moments that we all have together, but I just really don´t know how to truly bond with people that don´t like to talk about feelings. On Sunday I kind of made us all have a heart to heart, and it helped me feel better at least, but it´s just the craziest thing. Haha and I know they don´t understand me either, because like I said, they don´t like to talk about emotion. But I know it´s really good for me to learn how to work with other people on a really personal level. The mission is DEFS helping me to develop the qualities I want in myself (even though it´s doing them in the hardest ways). I´m learning better how to love others unconditionally even when we are really different. In "real life" I probably just woulnd´t get very close to any of these people, but it´s kind of cool that I now have the opportunity to HAVE to work through differences and become friends. Very different than normal life, but definitely a Christ-like attribute. I know these companionships are all inspired though, and I wouldn´t want it any other way.
Latinas: The new group of Latinas is pretty intense haha. We have a CRAY roommate from Peru, and she does some pretty crazy stuff. It doesn´t really bug me as much as my companions, but I totally see where they´re coming from. Good thing I´m a deep sleeper! Also there´s this one super hyper girl who learned english from One Directions songs. We bonded over that for quite a while haha. I honestly miss music pretty hard. Baby Ray told me I wouldn't, but I do. Maybe it´ll get better over time. Probs. Also, Hermana Larsen isn´t a latina (she´s a sister in my district), but I love her a lot. She´s really sweet and easy to be around. Big fan.
I wish I had a million hours to tell you everything that´s been going on (because that´s how long it would take), but alas, that would defeat the point of this mission.
Our district quote of the week is from Harry Potter: "You´re gonna suffer, but you´re gonna be happy about it." TRUTH!

Image result for images of Harry Potter
Ok, I love you all V much!!!!! Have a g-rate week. #pray4Holly
-Hermana Ross

Friday, March 13, 2015

photos from week 2

Week Numero Dos


Ayyyyy, I made it through two weeks! Crayzeee. It feels like much longer. I have had a million bajillion emotions throughout the week, but now that I´m at this point I almost feel nothing? It´s hard to say. My email time is SUPER limited, so I´m just going to write this email, attach pictures and probably just print off your emails and read them later today. Time FLIES by on the computers, and there are just too many people and not enough computers. 

Last P-day: Last Thursday was the bomb. It went by so fast though, obviously, because time moves much more quickly when you can just chill out and do whatever you want. I took a tiny nap, read your emails, played volleyball, etc. It was a pretty good time. I pretty much live every day for p-day #pathetic

Spanish: Spanish is a literal mind trip. I don´t know it, it´s mentally EXHAUSTING to try to understand it and speak in it, and I just can´t even fathom it ever coming easily to me. I mean I know more now than I did when I came (obvio), but it´s just SO tiring. When we speak in English again after speaking in Spanish, it feels like coming home or something haha. Sundays are our only day in English during the morning and afternoon, and it´s the greatest thing on this planet. English is the bomb. I really do love the Spanish language, but it´s just a straight up struggle at this point. Mostly it´s a little more miserable than I thought it was going to be. Mad props to any missionary serving in any country where they have to learn any language... When I think about serving in Asia or something right now I practically start to cry tears of gratitude that I´m not in that situation. I think Heavenly Father knew I couldn´t handle it haha. But for realz. But it´s coming along fine, and I think things will be better once I´m out of the CCM.

Food: I have found out a system that kind of works for me (kind of). They have cream cheese at breakfast and plain bread at every meal, so I just stock up on cream cheese in the morning (and take it in my bag, which is techincally against the rules #fubeca (that means disobedient in Portuguese), and then I eat bread and cheese for every meal. Haha I probably won´t literally die from that since I´m only here for 6 weeks, so that´s chill. Also sometimes I eat cereal for breakfast or random other things they have for lunch and dinner if there´s not too much meat. I´m surviving. It´s better this week than it was last week :)

This coming Saturday: We get to actually leave the CCM and go proselyting on the streets of Buenos Aires. Which is a literal joke, because we know like NO Spanish! hahahaha. It´s going to be an interesting experience. But this past week the North Americans that are two weeks ahead of us went, and two girls almost got robbed. So I have that to look forward to! Get hyped!

Sunday: So every Sunday we all have to prepare a talk based on a topic they provide us (this week was faith), and then they call randomly on 6 people to give talks in Sacrament meeting. So I was chosen, which I was actually ok with, on account of faith is a great topic. I had prepared some thoughts, but not much more, so I pretty much just winged it. I was kind of nervous, but it´s obviously one of my life goals to just be able to speak by the spirit, so this was a good opportunity to start practicing! It went well, and I felt pretty good about it. Also, like I said, Sundays are all in English, so I could actually say what I wanted to! Being able to express yourself is the bomb. The rest of Sunday was really good too, and we got to take pictures at the temple because the entire group of Latinos that was here was leaving because they only stay for two weeks. I´ll include those pictures in my email. I can only attach two at a time though (sry), so I´m going to send like 10 emails haha. Get ready.

Leaving group: So like I said, the entire group of Latinos that arrived when we did left this past Tuesday. It was way sad and a straight bummer. We had spent a lot of our emotional energy becoming friends with them, and now they´re all gone and we have to start completely again. More arrived last night and more are coming today, so that´ll be interesting. Our latina roommates that woke up every day at like 5:45 left though, so tbh I´m actually kind of grateful for that... Our new ones talk in Spanish SO FAST though, and they seem a little cray... We´ll see...

CCM breakdown: So I found out who gets sent to the Argentina MTC and why. Apparently all the Brazilians who get sent to Spanish speaking missions come here. So that´s why there are so many Brazilians! We got more last night. They are pretty much the greatest. I´m a big fan. Portuguese is crazy though!! But most of them speak at least a little bit of English and Spanish already. Also, Brazilians sing hymns SO LOUD, and it´s awesome. They are just so passionate! Then all the North Americans who serve in Paraguay or Uruguay come here, all the Canadians serving in Argentina, and then just random other South Americans serving in Argentina or a few other countries. 

Trio dynamic: So not going to lie, my companionship situation has gotten a little more rough. It´s almost always hard to be in groups of three, and this is no exception. My companions are probably more similar to each other than they are to me, and we are just REALLY different in a LOT of ways. I´m constantly praying for Heavenly Father to help me though, and I feel like I´ll be ok.

My thoughts: So my feelings have been acting kind of weird this week, at least more than last week... I have just had more moments of angst and not knowing what to do with myself haha. It´s just been really hard for me to not have anyone here that knows me or really even cares to know me. I can feel myself withdrawing a little bit, and I just don´t really know what to do with all my thoughts and feelings, on account of I have no one to talk to. My favorite parts of the day are writing in my journal at night and praying because they´re the only times I actually feel like I get the chance to express myself. It´s been cool because I feel like I´ve become closer to Christ, but it´s kind of rough, because that relationship is pretty much the ONLY one I have. Mostly I´m ok if I don´t think too much about the future, but sometimes I just feel overwhelmed on account of it´s hard not to think about the future... I know I´ll be fine though, and I just keep praying to feel comfort and peace and the strength to keep going. Legit every minute of every day I pray "Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief." I´m not even kidding.

Ok, well I sent like a million pictures, so hopefully that helps you get a feel for the people I´m with. Sorry I don´t have time to write more. I wish I could write for hours, because I feel so much better being able to express myself. Love you all dearly! I pray for you every day and hope you all receive the choicest blessings! T-3 weeks until Baby Ray meets her eternal companion, I just know it ;) 

I love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!

-Hermana Ross

p.s. I´m getting pretty tan here, ayyyy. My tan lines are pretty ratchet though... As I´m sure you can imagine. I´ll probz be brown when I come home. Stoke! 

p.p.s. D and C 84:80-85, 88

 80 And any man that shall go and preach this gospel of the kingdom, and fail not to continue faithful in all things, shall not be weary in mind, neither darkened, neither in body, limb, nor joint; and a hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed. And they shall not go hungry, neither athirst.
 81 Therefore, take ye no thought for the morrow, for what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, or wherewithal ye shall be clothed.
 82 For, consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin; and the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory, are not arrayed like one of these.
 83 For your Father, who is in heaven, knoweth that you have need of all these things.
 84 Therefore, let the morrow take thought for the things of itself.
 85 Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man. 88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mineangels round about you, to bear you up. 80 And any man that shall go and preach this gospel of the kingdom, and fail not to continue faithful in all things, shall not be weary in mind, neither darkened, neither in body, limb, nor joint; and a hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed. And they shall not go hungry, neither athirst.
  88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mineangels round about you, to bear you up.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Hola! Mi querida familia! Como estan?!

Well, that´s about the extent of my Spanish, so I hope you enjoyed it! Ok, jk, so I know un poco more than that, but not by too much... lolz

Oh man, it´s been SUCH a long week. Every day here is like at least 3 days in the "real world." Every meal feels like it should be dinner, I swear...

Imma break my week down by category so that I can better organize my thoughts.

Arriving in Buenos Aires: My flight experience was pretty good, relatively speaking. I felt pretty calm and composed, which was a real blessing. In Atlanta I found one other Elder who is going to serve in Uruguay but who is in my district here in the CCM (the MTC in Spanish). After a few more hours four other missionaries showed up, so there ended up being six of us flying to Argentina together on the flight. I was pretty far in the back, which ended up being a HUGE blessing, because there were several empty seats from tickets that hadn´t been sold. So I ended up with the entire middle row to myself (three seats) for the whole flight. It wasn´t exactly comfortable (read, it was extremely uncomfortable), but it was still obviously a huge blessing as compared to how it could have been. I was able to sleep for like six hours! The temptation was real though, because they had tons of in flight movies and they even gave us free headphones... I resisted and just chilled/slept instead though. When we arrived there was no one there to pick us up because our flight had been delayed, so we had to wait another hour or two for a van to come. Luckily I wasn´t alone though, so it really wasn't a big deal. When we got to the CCM, we were greeted by tons of Latinos who were just hanging around outside since it was Pday. The CCM is right next to the Buenos Aires temple, so we obviously got to see that as well (but unfortunately it is closed right now because the power went out in the whole city, so they decided to clean it). We had a brief orientation, unpacked, and did some other things I can't remember on account of that whole day was a straight blur to me #overwhelmed.

Mis compañeras: I´m in a trio with Hermana Nuckles y Hermana Speakman. They are both super real and super chill, and I feel pretty blessed to have them as my first companions. Hermana Nuckles is from Mexicali and is super nice and really chill. She laughs a lot and keeps things fun (well, as fun as the CCM can be...). Hermana Speakman has a little bit of a more sarcastic sense of humor, and she´s super real as well and works well in our trio. She also probably knows the most Spanish out of the 3 of us, which helps us get through lessons better. My district has 5 hermanas y 5 Elders, so we have 2 trios. The Elders in my district are all very... unique... I probably wouldn't be super close friends with them normally, but it's easy to find things you like about people when they are sincere and bearing testimony of what they believe all the time. I´m working on patience and charity big time, so the problem might be more with me than with them. My district is good overall though. Most of the boys are going to Uruguay, but all of the girls are going to Paraguay. 

Weather: The weather here is pretty bomb, at least compared to what I thought it would be. It definitely gets hot at times, but it´s been pretty dece overall. And we are inside most of the time anyway, except for that we eat meals outside and play sports for our physical activity time. It is pretty humid though, which essentially means that my hair never looks good. Bummer... We watched a devotional the other day broadcast from the Provo MTC and all the Sisters´ hair was done all cute and I was like "THEY DON¨´T EVEN KNOW THE STRUGGLE... UGH". 

Food: Not gonna lie, the food situation has been rough for me. They serve meat for every meal (which I knew they would), but there´s really not too much else. I knew I would struggle with what to eat and be hungry a lot, but it´s one thing to anticipate being hungry and it´s another thing entirely to actually BE hungry. Especially when you´re sitting in Spanish classes all day long... I´ve found a couple of things that work for me though, and usually I can find something to eat that´s semi satisfactory. And Hermana Speakman gave me a bunch of fruit snacks, so that was way helpful. My biggest regret is not bringing more snacks... We only eat 3x a day (which I know is generally the normal amount people eat...), but I´m SUPER used to snacking 24/7,  and when you are awake and busy ALL DAY LONG, you get SUPER hungry in between meals. Sometimes in between lunch and dinner I swear I´m not going to make it. But it´s fine, I´m almost positive I won´t LITERALLY die in the CCM. And I´m sure it will get better over time. It´s helped me to rely on the Lord a lot more. Also, it will be better once I can cook for myself again.

Spanish: Ok, so the Spanish has been a bit of a struggle. The way they teach it is very different than I thought. I imagined grammar lessons and conjugations and vocab and worksheets or something. But instead it´s pretty much just teaching us how to teach the gospel (they teach us mostly in English), and then just the expectation that Spanish will come naturally over time. I don't know if that makes sense, but it's been pretty frustrating. On literally our third day here we had to teach a fake investigator a lesson, and we literally couldn't say ANYTHING. We didn't even know how to ask if we could come into their house and share a message. It was SO SO SO bad haha. If there was ever a point this week that I felt like crying, that was it. It was soooo frustrating. It´s quite humbling. I obviously know I can't learn Spanish in a week, but I'm starting to realize just how long it´s actually going to take. Especially since I'm only going to learn it by just listening to others and trying to practice repeating what I haer. We teach lessons to fake investigators like every day... In Spanish. It´s a joke haha. My companions and I just say stuff like "Que piensa?" and "Que sentir?" which doesn´t really make sense haha. But we try. All of our lessons have been better than the first one though, which was the one that FAILED SO HARD. It was a good learning experience though. I wish I could say more about learning Spanish (I have so many thoughts), but it´s just too hard to explain and not worth the use of my limited time. Overall though, I LOVE SPANISH! I honestly don´t like learning it haha, and it stresses me out to think about it too much, but I really love the language itself. Listening to the Latinos speak it all the time is inspiring. I can't wait until I don't sound like a total idiot anymore. 6 months isn't that long, right? RIGHT?! :( It´s veryyyy humbling to learn another language. Sometimes I just think about stateside/English speaking missionaries and I start to feel a jealous rage coming on. But also I´m thankful for the opportunity I have to learn Spanish, and I´m excited to hopefully one day be able to semi express my feelings and not just say "Ahh, bien!" to everythingggg someone is saying. One day, one day...

My teachers: My teachers here are the literal bomb. We have Hermana Juarez in the mornings, and she is so great, very positive, and super helpful. She is better about teaching us grammar and Spanish than our other teacher, and I like her a lot. She served her mission in England London South, which is where she learned her English. She got back about a year and a half ago. Our other teacher in the evenings and night is Hermano Catron. I´m not exaggerating when I say I've never known a person as charismatic as him. He is probably the most dynamic teacher/person I have EVER seen! He is SO funny and SO charming and KNOWS his Gospel and testifies SO POWERFULLY! I couldn't have asked for a better teacher. He has this way of making you feel like the most important person in the world, and I can tell he was a great missionary. He just got back two months ago from serving in Chile. Anyway, my teachers are just the bomb and I feel super blessed. All the teachers here in Argentina are really good. 

Latinos: Ok, so the breakdown of the CCM is currently about 18 North Americans (10 from our district and 8 from another one that is two weeks ahead of us), about 20ish Brazilians, about 15 latinas and about 35 latinos. We are at capacity at the CCM rigth now with 90 people. The latinos only stay for two weeks, the Brazilians stay for four weeks, and the North Americans stay for six weeks. There are a lot more elders here than Hermanas. Seriously, the latino elders are SO FUN! I love them a lot. I wish I could be in a district with them. They are super funny and so chill and really, really friendly. We have actividad fisica every day for an hour (essentially recess), and it´s my favorite time of every day. We play volleyball and soccer and ping pong with all the latinos, and it´s the greatest thing ever. Mom, I know you told me this would happen, and you were so right! They´re THE GREATEST! 

Sunday: This Sunday was my favorite day so far. It was fast Sunday, which I was worried about because I´m already hungry as it is eating 3 times a day, let alone not eating until 630 pm after having been up and busy since 630am. It was soooo good though. I was really blessed. I honestly didnt even get as hungry all day as I sometimes do in between lunch and dinner. And almost all of Sunday was in English because we just had church with the other North American district. And I had planned on bearing my testimony becauser there were only like 20 of us and teh MTC presidency. As we were in the meeting though, I really couldn´t think of anything I wanted to say. I had pondered it on Saturday as well, but nothing was coming to mind. All the sudden in the middle of the meeting though, I had a specific experience come to mind that I wanted to share. I can only describe the experience of the fulfilment of the promise that the Holy Ghost will help us recall all things in the moment we need them. So I bore my testimony and it went really well and even though I obviously cried during it (lolz), it was a great experience. Also, thats the only time Ive cried this week, so I probably needed to release some pent up emotion... The rest of sunday was good too and we watched Meet the Mormons at night, which was a good time. It was fun with all the North Americans and a few Brazilians who were trying to learn English.

Other hermanas: The other North American district has 6 sisters, and they are all great. They are all going to the Paraguay Asuncion mission, except one going to the north mission as a nurse. They are all super funny and have SO much energy. It's cool to see the way God inspired the construction of our districts. All the other girls in their district have SERIOUS boyfriends, either at home or on missions, and they've formed a kind of support group with each other to help each other through it. And none of the sisters in my group do, which I think is more than a coincidence that all the sisters were put with others in a simillar situation to them. I like the other sisters a lot. Also, girls crying every night at the MTC is NOT A MYTH, and those girls cry like every night and so did my companion and it´s a real thing. I had heard that, but I thought it wasn't a thing. IT IS.

Pre Mortal MTC: Other side note, it´s the craziest thing, but SO many of the missionaries here seems familiar to me. Not like we´ve gotten to know each other and it seems like we´ve been friends all of our lives, but rather just that I literally KNOW them from somewhere. And the feeling is STRONG. I honestly believe we were all foreordained to come serve in these missions at this time and in this place and that we all together in the pre mortal existence and planned on coming to the Argentina MTC together. All of the North American sisters say I look SO familiar to them. Like, they were freaking out about how much it seems like they all know me. And they all seem so familiar to me too. And the latinos too. It's so cool!

Overall, I have definitely left the Garden of Eden which was my former life... And I know it´s only going to get harder. I already have more emotions and more thoughts and need to rely on the Lord more than before. I have literally NO control over what I do here, and it´s been rough. I  pray a million times a day for the strength to get through this. Honestly, I´m doing ok, and I don´t doubt that Heavenly Father will guide me through this whole experience. My personality has really helped me to keep perspective, and even though I don´t really want to be here, per se, I KNOW that this is where I am supposed to be. I´d be lying if I said the CCM was "super fun", but there are good moments, and I keep trying to remind myself that I´m not here just for fun. The atonement wasn´t easy, and neither is missionary work. 
Mosiah 24:13-15 is quality scripture.  13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
 14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
 15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

 I´m glad I've been led to the place in my life where a mission is the right thing for me to do, and I´m learning more to be thankful for the little things. 

 Love you all mucho mucho mucho!!!

-Hermana Ross

p.s. D and C 31:3 was really cool to me this week. It says that the hour of your mission is come! TRUE STORY!

 Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation.

Airport Holly

 And with missionaries she found along the way!
 Here's the Buenos Aires Temple located right next to the Argentina Training Center
The view outside her window where the missionaries enjoy a daily hour of actividad fisica