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 Predicate Antecedent Adjectival clause Mood of the
verb ladrar(to bark)
Reason for the use of the
subjunctive or the indicative
Tengo un perro que ladra mucho. Indicative There is a definite antecedent, a dog which I own. No tengo un perro que ladre mucho. Subjunctive The antecedent is negated; such a dog doesn't exist. Quiero un perro que ladre mucho. Subjunctive There 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 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obNlH5VZ_qg) 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.
Te amo, te amo, te amo.
Con amor, Hermana Ross
PS. D & C 58: 3-4
Also the song “Be Thou my Vision” by The Lower Lights. Gold.