Well, here`s to another week of my life in Paraguay! Omgosh, pure comedy is that right now in the ciber I`m in they are playing a hard dubstep version of the song "Do your ears hang low." Dyinggg.
Ok, well this week was ight. I don`t know, it was technically pretty good and not as bad as I`d anticipated given all the stuff we had to do, but at least this weekend I`ve felt a teeny bit moody. Couldn`t even tell you why, but it`s unfortunate. There was for sure some good stuff though, so I`ll get to that.
Zone conference: So on Wednesday we had our zone conference, and TBH I wasn`t really looking forward to it. I feel like during practices it`s just kinda missionaries evaluating (/judging) other missionaries` abilities. And especially with the fragile beginning stages of my Spanish right now, I`m just not about being put on the spot. So eventually it gets to the part of the conference where we break into companionships and have to practice with like an AP (assistant to the President) or something. So our zone leader starts walking towards us and I`m like "chill, we`ll just practice with him. he`s really nice and we`re friend-associates." But then, PRESIDENT cuts him off and is like "I`ll practice with these hermanas." Lolololol so we practiced teaching President like 10 different times, seriously. And it was for sure a stressful experience in my life. I know you`re probably just like "Oh, that`s chill, whatever." But let me tell you, I was intimidated, and it was stressful. But the conference overall was more tranquilo than I`d anticipated, so mostly it was fine. We had to wake up again at 5am to go though, and let me tell you, that`s so rough on the whole week. Just waking up that early twice this past week really messed with my schedule. There`s never time to catch up on sleep, and I was just struggling to make it through some days. And my comp is not really the type to take breaks, so that makes it a little harder for me too. Having different intensities of work ethic is a really interesting dynamic in a companionship.
One of the highlights of the week though was that on the way home from the zone conference we were on this collectivo and this guy got on with a boombox and started freestyle rapping and it was SICK. I`m not even kidding. And he`s walking down the aisle and he passes us and starts freestyle rapping about me (in Spanish, obvi. Just in case you ever forget I`m in Paraguay). And he`s like "Esta chica con ojos celeste" blah blah and then he starts rhyming stuff with "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" and I`m just dyinggg cause he`s SO GOOD and this was seriously the sickest talent I`d ever seen. So afterwards I was like "OMHeck, you have a seriously buen talento" and we contacted him and it was for sure a great moment in my life.
Divisions: So then on Friday night-Saturday night we had divisions with the hermana training leaders. I ended up going to a different city to work in their area, and I was with the new HTL, Hermana Wiscombe. She is from North Carolina and also went to BYU before the mish, so it was fun to talk with her and stuff. She was Hermana Larsen`s trainer, so that was fun too. I really like her a lot, actually. Her personality is pretty interesting. She`s just really laid back and chill, but not like passive or unopinionated, per se. Almost like kind of somber(?) or something. But anyway, it was a good change of pace, and it was cool to see her area and get advice from her and stuff. She said that when Hna. Larsen showed her pictures of me before she thought I looked like a blogger. Hahaha I don`t know if I should be offended or flattered lolz. But anyway, I liked being with her because I just remembered that there are so many different types of people that I really like and get along with in different/unique ways.
OH and one of the best things of divisions was that I got to take a hot shower! I never mentioned this, I think, but one of (the only?) downsides of our sweet new casa is that there`s no hot water. And let me tell you, it`s been pretty dang cold here. Pouring rain, tons of wind, and just overall not-very-warm. Man, I`ve taken some painful showers. One time my companion literally started tearing up after her shower because it was so cold. But anyway, I got to take a niceeee shower on Friday night, so that was pretty sweet.
MCOH (Mighty change of heart): So I`ve been reflecting a lot this past weekend on the whole "change of heart" thing. I swear I already learned this lesson on the mission, but apparently not, because I`ve been struggling with it again. Man, the mission is really hard for me in some ways. Sometimes I read missionary letters from other people/I read a lot before the mission, and I just felt like I never heard very much about the hard aspects of missionary work. I don`t know if other people are just kinda withholding the truth with themselves/in their letters, or if maybe they really just do love everything about the mission that much right off the bat. I don`t know, but at least for me, in complete honesty, there`s a lot that`s hard. So much of it is contrary to my nature, and TBH I`m finally understanding "the natural man" for the first time in my life. I never really dealt with this before the mish, I feel like, but now I`m SO aware. It`s just not in my personality to feel comfortable going up to people on the street and to start talking to them about the gospel, in a foreign language, in the middle of a foreign country. And honestly it`s the same with pretty much everything else. I`m doing it all, obviously, because that`s what I`m here to do, but it`s hard for me a lot of the time. I want to love the people, and I`m trying so hard (and it`s not like I don`t like them), but I just feel like most of my behavior is motivated by love of God than anything else. And that`s not even bad, but I just know I could really love the mission more/faster if my heart could change. But it`s soooo hard, and I don`t really understand exactly how it happens. Anyway, sorry if this sounds angsty/negative. I don`t mean it to. Really, I`m fine. And I know that things always get better with time, but I guess it`s just been hard for me to realize that as much as I`ve adjusted thus far, I still have a long way to go #enduretotheend #discipleshipneverends. There`s a quote I really like from conference, in which Michael T. Ringwood says, "The good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that the desires of our hearts can be transformed and our motives can be educated and refined." I`m all about that hope/I have faith that it`s true and can/will happen.
Reflections: So I was reading this morning in Ether about the brother of Jared and such, and there were just a couple of promises given to them that I really liked. Firstly, in Ether 1:42, the Lord is talking to them in regards to their imminent travels, and he says "I will go before thee." And then in Ether 2:5 it says, "And it came to pass that the Lord did go before them." And then in Ether 2:6, it says that they were "being directed continually by the hand of the Lord." I just really, really, really find a ton of comfort in the fact that the Lord will go before us and direct us. And obviously we know that`s true, because the atonement has already taken place, and he has already paid the price for our sins/always knows how we feel. And he will go before us and lead us and guide us and sustain us. And I know that`s true, and I feel that`s true, and I`m so grateful. Really.
Ok, well that`s been my week mas o menos. Oh the joys of the roller coaster of mission life. It`s like living a whole life in 18 months. Really.
Love you so much! Thx for all the support, really.
p.s. Lolz, so my companion is pretty dang healthy, and grocery shopping is always a good time. I`m like "Welp, I got my cereal and quesadillas. Ready to go?" And she`s like "Hermana! I have to get x ingredient and y ingredient, blah blah." So shopping takes a hecka lot longer than it would with just me x2. The good news is that she`s helping me eat a little more saludable as well, on account of she`s not always wanting to buy a bunch of junk food. So that`s good, yeah? Yeah.
|A pit bull puppy|
|Divisions with Hermana Wiscombe|
|It's cold and raining BUCKETS at a time|