Well, I gotta start this email with a disclaimer. I`m super, super tired. I feel like I`m always saying something like that, but it`s true. Today we went shopping in San Lorenzo (a city not too far from where we live) and honestly it was exhausting. It is so hot today, and where we went it was just liked this PACKED market-type place and we went up and down looking at a bunch of not-even-that-cool junky stuff. It`s hard to find stuff of any quality here. So in theory it was a fun idea, but it just resulted in me getting minor heat exhaustion and being hecka tired.
This week was pretty solid. It went by at a relatively normal pace and I was pretty happy for most of the time. Nothing crazy went down, so I`ll just hit the minor highlights.
Hna. Valenzuela`s birthday!: SO Hna. V turned 22 this week! So that was exciting! TBH, as a missionary it`s really hard to do anything for your comp's birthday. Surprises are pretty much out of the picture on account of she literally knows everything I do. But she also loves birthdays a lot, so I tried to do what I could (which ended up just being writing a letter and decorating. Kind of on the tranquilo side, but what can you do?) It was on Thursday night though, which is when we have English classes, so I had told the Elders without her knowing and told them to bring a cake or something. Which they did, and it was so precious. Anahi is a really good area. And English class went super well and we had the biggest turn out we`d ever had, so it was really fun.
Spanish: So mostly it`s just a test of endurance at this point. I`m kind of over it, but I obviously can`t be since I LITERALLY have to learn it in order to be able to function in this society. I have been praying to love it more, but it`s been semi ineffective at this point (like I said, test of endurance). I feel really lucky though, because I feel like God is kind of sparing me this trial right now (which is really, really nice). So it started with the adjustment to living in a third-world country, and I feel like when Hermana Valenzuela goes home it will be onto other things (like the language, etc.) But in the meantime I try so, so hard not to let it get me down. People here think it`s so funny to talk about how I don`t know Spanish. It`s like a joke made at least several times a week in very public settings. And I literally, literally have to just smile and laugh (even though it`s not funny and it makes me low key depressed.) Like do they think I don`t want to know Spanish? Or that I`m here for a fun vacation? #angst. But whatever, like I said, trial of patience, nothing more (AND NOTHING LESS).
Zone conference: So this past Friday we had zone conference and it was also interviews with President. When I met with him I mostly talked to him about how I am trying to love the mission more and really, really leave the "surviving stage." It`s a struggle. And I talked about how I feel like time is going SO slowly and that I feel like I`m just barely moving forward at all. And then he told me that when we feel like time is going slowly, it`s because we are thinking about the end (and he then told me to stop doing that...) Which honestly is somewhat obvious, but good advice. It`s true, I think about the end a lot more than I should. In my defense, it`s really hard with my companion going home in less than a month. But anyway, I am aware that I need to focus more on the moment. It`s kind of always been in my personality to look more towards the future though, ya know? #workingonit. Also, he said that the best way to love the mission is to love the people. Which again, I have heard a million times. But I just recomitted to really, really working on that. Because I know that it`s true. And it`s not that I don`t love the people, per se, but I could be doing better. Also, it`s hard when honestly there`s not a ton I like about the culture here. But these are all just things to work on, and I know God purposely calls the weak and unqualified. I am going to make more conscious efforts to pray and fast for charity though, because I really do feel like that`s a huge key to loving the mission/doing well.
D and L: In other news, we were able to teach a lesson to the daughters of J and L (our recent converts), and they agreed to a baptismal date of July 3rd (my birthday, yo!) I can`t really express to you how big of news this is, but it`s for sure a tiny miracle. They were the ones we practically dragged to Meet the Mormons with us, and they are just really typical and teenager-y and were just not having it. But I was talking with my comp about them, and I was like "have they ever even been really talked to by the missionaries? I mean I know both of their parents are baptized, but we`ve never talked to them since I`ve been here, and I feel like we really should. How embarrassing would it be for us if in like 10 years someone asked them about the mormons and they were like "Oh yeah, my parents are LDS and the missionaries were at our house all the time, but they never really talked to us and we don`t know what they believe."" It would be really, really bad on our part. So anyway, we went and taught them and it was just really good. Sorry I can`t explain the situation better, but it was for sure inspired.
So that`s the gist of what went down this week, even though really there was SO MUCH MORE and I would need hours to tell you about all of it. It`s just nuts how different my life is here. Really, really different.
Love you!!!!!!! Thanks for the support.