Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Week 19: Same Area, New Companion!

Ayyyyy family! Well, as promised, this week was cambios! It for sure has been an eventful/long week, and I have a decent amount to report. Colin using Lil John voice "*let`s go*"

Tuesday: So Tuesday we had our district/zone meeting in which changes were announced. I was really nervous for no particular reason (well, I guess there was a reason), but also I really did/do have faith in the woG (will of God), so I was wishing I was better at putting my faith into emotion, ya know? Anyway, so they announce changes companionship by companionship, and ours was freaking last! So I was so nervous and then they`re like "Ok, Hermana Valenzuela se va... a su casa!" lolz. And then they announced that my new comp is Hermana Pisco!! More to follow.

Cambios: Ok, so then on Wednesday morning we went to this stake center where all the changes were happening for pretty much all of the missionaries. I got to see Hermana Speakman, Hermana Larsen (for the first time), and Elder Payne! So exciting. And we were all pretty nervous, and they were kind of freaking out even more than I was, so that made me feel a little better. It was for sure good to see them, but it was also a weird experience because Hermana Valenzuela left with the other missionaries who are finishing their missions, and it was just kind of like "Ok, bye forever..." #14months

Hermana Pisco: Ok, so I didn`t know/had never heard of her, but I soon found out that she is from Lima, Peru and only has THREE MONTHS in the mission. Oh my gosh, that`s even less than me! Can you believe it? I mean, crazier things have happened, but still... So I met her Wednesday morning and we drove back to Anahi together. She was in the CCM with me at the very end of my time there, and she says she remembers me (TBH I don`t remember meeting her, but she did look kind of familiar). Anyway, she`s so precious and really sweet. I`m feeling pretty good about things with her. She pretty much doesn`t know any English, so it`s for sure 100% Spanish immersion, but she`s helpful and patient and things have been going well so far. 

Spanish: Honestly it hasn`t been as bad as I anticipated. It`s actually been a relatively good time. It feels freaking awesome to finally be taking active steps towards improvement. I feel like before I was missing the action part of faith, and therefore just believed that one day I would know Spanish (faith=belief+action, ya know?). I mean sure, I was acting before (I`m obviously in Paraguay listening to Spanish 24/7), but now I`m really making constant, active, efforts. You know how in the game Catch Phrase you have a word that you have to explain without using the word itself? Well I`m pretty much playing Spanish catch phrase ALL DAY LONG. And it`s actually moderately fun. I mean sure, it sucks to not be able to express myself well, but it`s a different kind of enjoyable. Por ejemplo, I ask this question a lot: "What`s the word for the opposite of [insert word]" Lolz #allday #everyday. It`s still hard for me in lessons to teach well, and it`s hard for my comp too because she is kind of timid and also new, but we`re learning together. I think at the end of this change she`ll be a great teacher and my Spanish will be much better. Here`s to hoping, amirite? #eldondelenguas

Birthday: So my birthday was kind of a weird day for me, TBH. And not even because it was my birthday, but just because it came so close to such a huge change in my missionary life. I`m not going to lie, this week has been pretty hard. It`s been a steep adjustment. And not really for the reasons I anticipated. More than anything else it`s just having a new companion. And not even because she isn`t super nice, and not even because she speaks Spanish, or anything else. I think this would have happened with any companion I got, actually, even if they were from the states. I think it`s just because for my first two changes, Hermana Valenzuela kind of was the mission for me. And now the mission is just the mission, and I feel different about stuff. I`m in the same area talking with most of the same people and with a really nice comp, but it`s just different. I can`t explain it well. Anyway, so on my birthday we went to the Souza`s house and had lunch with them and with Hna. V and her parents. They got me a cake, and it was super presh, but like I said, I was just feeling pretty sad. And then we left to do other stuff and eventually went back to our house to eat dinner. And my comp fell asleep on her bed, and I decided to open my birthday package. I seriously never thought I`d be one of those people that cry while opening packages from their family, but... #it`smypartyandi`llcryifiwantto. So after that I eventually pulled myself together and woke up my comp because we had to go to a district meeting thing. So we left for that and the meeting started and nobody had wished me a happy birthday, which was kind of a bummer, but whatever. But then two of the Elders had to go to the bathroom, so we were all waiting for them, and then Elder Bingham (who is my new district leader, btdubs. And also the only other North American in our district) said it would be better if we switched rooms for the meeting. So we went into the cultural hall, and they were waiting with a cake for me and everyone started singing Happy Birthday and it was so precious! I was honestly pretty surprised because I didn`t think that the Elders in my district were into that kind of thing. But it was honestly so nice of them, and we just hung out and ate cake for a little, which was a good time. So in terms of birthdays, it was a pretty funny one in my life, I think. The entire day was good and lots of good stuff happened, and even though I was pretty sad I appreciated the humor of the situation. I think I have a talent for thinking stuff is funny even when I`m sad. So that`s GTN (good to know. Shout out to Baby Ray for that abbreviation. Thx)

English class: So there`s been this boy named Brian who comes to English class almost every week, and he`s 2 presh. He`s 12 and speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Guarani, and a little bit of English. He`s really intelligent (obviously), and also is super meek while still being super fun and friendly. The other day we stopped by his house to talk with his mom about the church a little bit, and he told me all about his love for DJs and music in English, so we bonded over that for sure. I really want him to get baptized, but his family goes out of town every weekend, so they can never come to church or anything. But I have hope that God will provide a way. Updates to come. 

In other news, my new companion is really hardworking and is really into contacting and stuff, so she`s been keeping us going hard. I`m a hardworker too, but just in a different way, I think. But it`s good for me to have her as a comp, because we both have really strong desires to work and to try and help people, so I think we`ll have a successful cambio together. 

Also, she wants to learn English, so I`ve been teaching her some important words and phrases. It`s been a good time. You can bet she already knows the words "awkward, hipster, dating, chill, tired, nap, hungry," etc. It`s also helped me realize that as hard as it is for me to learn Spanish, it`s for sure harder for her to learn English. The pronunciation is sooo hard for her. And obviously my accent in Spanish isn`t great, but at least the words are pronounced how they`re spelled. 

So that`s been pretty much what`s gone down this week. I just feel like every change on the mission requires a whole new set of adjusting. And I feel like I`ll get there soon, because it`s happened for me so far, ya know? And I know Heavenly Father can change our hearts. I already feel so much better than I did at the start of the week. I`m just going back to the basics and trying to take days one hour at a time. I still can`t really even tell you why missions are so hard, but I really do think it`s just the weird time/emotional vortex that is constantly swirling. But I can feel myself progressing, which is an awesome feeling. And I know that even though I`m far from the perfect missionary, Heavenly Father is happy with me for always trying, even when I don`t want to. For sure I would not be on a mission if I didn`t know for sure that this is where I`m supposed to be. But it is, so I am, and I`m grateful for the opportunity. 

I seriously love you guys so much. I was reading Boyd K. Packer`s last conference address again, and everything really is all about the family. It`s honestly the end goal of like everything. Well, exhaltation is, but with the family #thefamilyisofGod

Hope you all have a g-rate week. Kill it at ur internship, C-dawg. 

Hermana Ross

p.s. "If there is any one thing you and I need in this world it is faith... the kind of faith that moves one to get on his knees and plead with the Lord and then to get on his feet and go to work." #missionarylyfe #alloflife

Last goodbye with Hermana Valenzuela

The old and the new:  Welcome Hermana Pisco from Peru

District Birthday Surprise

Two birthday cakes in one day

The package from home arrived in time for the big 2-0!

The new pair of Anahi featuring Ross and Pisco:  Just in time for WINTER!

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