Wednesday, August 28, 2013

hello, hello!

¡Hola mi maravilloso familia! ¿Como estas? Sorry... the accents on this keyboard arent't working currently for some reason... haha I promise I know where to put accents in the Español language.

But anyways, HELLO HELLO!!!!!! Soo today is P-DAY, of course, and I couldn't be happier about it!! I know I talked all about how amazing it is last week but seriously.... Tuesdays have become the BEST DAY EVER!! It is mind boggling to me that it is already p-day again though. I'm not kidding this week flewww by!!! It is kinda scary!! Time here is just so nuts. The days just flow together and all of the sudden an entire week has gone by. And today I hit my middle mark for the MTC (CCM)!!! I only have 3 more weeks left here... can you believe it!? I can't. It's a little scary too to think that in just 3 weeks I won't be sheltered anymore and will be in the REAL mission field, speaking to and teaching REAL investigators and having to truly to speak clearly in Español. Ahhh crazy!!!! But okay so I am currently a little overwhelmed because I don't know where to begin... I have soooo much I want to say! But we only have 1 hour, which is NOTHING to me, so I have to be speeeedy. 

So first off I'll tell you some random things haha. So last p-day night I went to bed all happy as a clam, re-read everyones emails before I fell asleep.... I do that about every night haha because I take pictures of or print out everyones emails... it's the best!! But then at 2 I was woken up by THE worst stomach pain I have ever felt in my life. I felt soooo so sick and didn't know what to do about it... well anyways, I was sick as a dogggg all night long. I was woken up about every 30 minutes and could barely move I felt so sick. By morning I was a lot better though and soon realized it was just a night deal. I went to breakfast that morning and overheard people talking.... supposedly A TON of people got super sick as well and experienced the same thing as me. This Elder was explaining his night to me and pretty much our experiences were identical. And everyone woke up the first time around 2-3 too haha soooo yeah. Something in the food got us all so sick.

I can now say I have experienced the CCM buggg. Haha I am just happy I didn't stay sick because the people that were sick for multiple days have a parasite. Let's cross our fingers I don't have one. However, I still randomly get the stomach pain. Hermana Latu has gotten it a little too. But I'm all good!! Haha don't worry one bit. I just wish I knew which food I should be ignoring. I am now eating the salad and it is amaaazing to have something fresh like that again but I am guessing it's from the meat?? Who knows... Haha last week an Elder found a cockroach in his beans though.. and I still eat them. Kinda gross?? And Elder Faerbar in my District found a piece of tape in his dessert one night... ohhhh man too good. I actually am pretty fond of the food now haha. I am just embracing it baby!!!! Rice and beans every dayyy.

Oh yeah. and last week a lot of people were sick with bad colds in my District. Hermana Latu and Elder Fridal our District Leader were wayyy sick. No good. And then other people have had the sniffles. Fortunately I haven't caught on to that.... but yeah I think this week will be tons better in the health department, hopefully. I think Hermana Wandell is getting Hermana Latu's sickness though... but we'll see. So next thing, today we went to the Mexico City temple again!!!! It was amazing! Oh yeah, I forgot to write about it two weeks ago when we went but yeah it was so awesome. The whole session is in Spanish and the first time we went I was a little lost but today's session was a ton better. I can't go into details because it's the sacred temple we're talking about here but I just felt a lot more comfortable in a Spanish session today. And the spirit was soo so strong. I absolutely loved it.

 Being in the temple with all these missionaries whom I have grown so close to and love soo much, there's nothing like it. Truly, it is soo humbling and special. And today el Presidente Pratt y Hermana Pratt, the CCM President and his wife, came with us so that was even more special. The temple workers were saints too... loved it so much. The drive to the temple is about an hour too so we get a small glimpse of the city... it's nuts!! But okay, next thing. Oh yeah!!! Big news!! Kinda.. haha so me and Hermana Howe were called to be Sister Training Leaders!! Those new Sister callings!! It is one Hermana companionship per branch and ours just left for the field so we have been called to be the Sister Training Leaders over our branch till we leave. Pretty exciting!! It's not going to be a HUGE deal here in the CCM but our Branch President expects a lot out of us and we're very humbled and priviledged to have been called amongst the other Hermanas. We're super excited for this responsibility, even if it means we have early early morning leadership meetings haha. 

Okay I have to now tell you about what happened to me last night... Soooo it was POURING rain outside during dinner and we had to get to our class afterwards for language study. We were unprepared with no umbrellas or anything since the rain started during dinner and once it starts, it doesn't stop and it rains soo hard. So anyways, we just made fun out of it, took off our church shoes, and raaaaan hahaha. I danced around a little too because I am in love with the rain haha but we had to get to the classroom and our building, the Joseph Fielding Smith building, is pretty far away so we were running. Just getting soaked haha. But anyways, first I screamed that I was going to slip and then I looked back and Hermana Wandell ate is soooo bad, soo sad, so after waiting for her we kept running and I almost made it to the door, like less than a foot away and BAM!!!! Slipped and totally ate it. Hahahaha it was bad though because when I slipped I slid into the door. And all these Elders down the hallway saw and rushed over to help me but I was just laughing my head off. It hurt a little but was way more hilarious. Then I got up and realized, I completely ripped my pencil skirt. It ripped all the way up the seam in the back and yeahhhh hahaha not a big deal. It was the yellow pencil skirt I got from JCREW... I know, so sad. But since it made a straight rip right up the seam I will just send it home once I get to Cali and hopefully mom or Kimbo can sew it back up for me?? ¿Por favor? Haha but yeah and I got a nice gash on my elbow but it's all good. Haha it was hilarious though because I still wanted to do language study in class so I just held my skirt together, sat down, and went to work. Everyone in my District was dying though and the Elders were all soo sweet. To Hermana Wandell too, she totally beat up her foot and knee. It was awful!! Yet one of the funniest things ever. Ahh man. Too good haha.

But yeah that reminds me, the Elders in my District are the sweeeetest. Seriously, love them soo much. I'll have to go into more detail about each of them another time but they're all the best. I am closest to Elder Ballstaedt and Elder Faerbar though. They're SO solid and such hard workers. Elder Ballstaedt is the one I could see myself being friends with outside of the field too so we get along way well. Those Elders just are the best examples to me and I feel so lucky to have such an awesome group. Every Elder is entirely different too, so we have several different personalities going on, haha but that's part of what makes it so great. And then of course I am obsessed with the 3 other Hermanas. They're sooo great. Best District ever. And best branch ever too.... they're all my best friends!! Elder Gee and Elder Dale, from our Branch, whom me and Hermana Howe got close too just left for Rancagua, Chile though so that was sad. I hate saying goodbye to these missionaries I've become such good friends with!! But then a lot of people are still here including Hermana Winters and Hermana De La Vega who are my faaavorite. Haha they're the best. Hermana Muir left last night though unfortunately as well as a few of mi otra Hermana amigas... but tons still remain. Oh yeah! And Hermana Garbett is here!! Suzanna Garbett from Skyline. Ahh she is the CUTEST!!! And I get soo excited when we run into each other. Haha way funny too, I guess she had been reading my emails from Abby's mission blog for me so when she saw Hermana Howe she said, "I've heard about you... Hermana Como!?" Haha we were laughing soooo hard. CLASSIC.

But anyways, next thing.. Abs I ran into Elder Eichers last p-day night at the Tuesday devotional, ironically, and now I see him all the time. Haha such a great guy. However he's two years younger than me.... it's normal. Seriously it is normal though. I am old over here. Did I tell you last week how people call me abuela?? Meaning grandma... and they called Elder Jugler (who just left) abuelo... since we're both 20 almost 21 year olds. Haha good times. I am the oldest in my District and probably branch too. But okay. Then let's see... onto the more spiritual stuff. 

We're teaching two investigators now. I think I mentioned them last week.. they're two of our teachers. "Gilberto" aka Hermano Arevelo y "Benjamin" aka Hermanpo Muñoz. Since they're our teachers I feel more comfortable with them however it's still quite the learning process. Which reminds me, last week I had my first overwhelming teaching experience. Me y Hermana Howe were teaching Gilberto and I made sure to really get to know him in the beginning and our plan was to talk about the Restoration but then he led into the Apostasy and asked, when we had no time left... why there are so many churches on the earth today. Somewhat easy question right?? We just needed to teach him about the Apostasy. However we had noo time left and the Apostasy is a big subject so I kinda stumbled over my words, for the first time my mind was going more blank, I got nervous so the Español words weren't coming and then I turned it to Hermana Howe for a minute and she said, "So with the Atonement........" haha totally off topic so I tried to redeem that and then Gilberto could sense we were nervous, his eyes welled up with tears and he expressed his gratitude for us teaching and meeting with him and immediately tears started rolling down my cheeks. It totally caught me off guard that he started tearing up and then caught me even more off guard when in that moment I was completely touched with the spirit and found myself tearing up as well. I just felt soo many emotions come over me and it was, to describe it the best I can, a VERY humbling experience for me. I know that my Español isn't anywhere near perfect, I have such a long ways to go, but my testimony is strong and with that... the Savior is going to be by my side.

At that moment Spanish words were flooding my mind and I ended the lesson with a strong message and my testimony. It was so special. It is pretty frustrating when you want to say so much but can't find the words to express yourself.... so that experience was amazing for me. Once I stopped thinking about myself, the Español, and how our lesson wasn't going to plan... and started thinking about my true purpose, the spirit, and my Savior Jesus Christ... everything else fell into place. That story is probably super confusing and I am typing soo fast because I have no time, but it was a great and growing experience for me. And then, to make my day even better... later in class we had Book of Mormon study and Hermana Doxey had us come up with a question we wanted answered as a district. We decided on, "How can I teach with more confidence?" ... We ended up studying and digging deep into Ether 12. 

Ohh my goodness mi familia... please please please study and ponder abour Ether 12. This chapter has inspired me in more ways than I can express and was exactly what I needed to hear and study that day. And any day. I know you've all probably read it tons of times but just really take into heart what it teaches us and apply it to your own life. I know this is a verse everyone has heard a million times, but Ether 12:27 was soo powerful to me as I read it, "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they HUMBLE themselves before me, and have FAITH in me, then will I make WEAK things become STRONG unto them." I hope I said it all right... we have been memorizing scriptures tons and I get them a little messed up sometimes. But isn't that sooo powerful!? All we need is to have HUMILITY and FAITH and the Lord promises us he will make our weaknesses strengths!!!! It sounds so simple doesn't it?? However it is something we all struggle with, I know I do. But if we just obtain those two things... the Lord is bound and will fulfill his promise!! 

This now makes me thing of another scripture that I love sooo much... it's another one you all know by heart probably.. D&C 82:10, "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." Ohh my goodness!!! It's soo powerful!! The Lord will be BOUND when we do what he says!!! But if we do not follow his council and do what he says, well then. He doesn't owe us anything. So crazy. So anyways, my testimony was really strengthened that day and I am working my hardest to become more humble and faithful. I am working my hardest every day. And I know to obtain those two things I must forget myself and trust in the Lord with all my heart. I love this Gospel sooo much!!! It's TRUE it's TRUE it's TRUE!!!! Haha I know I am sounding like such a missionary right now but I can't help myself. Haha and please study the Book of Mormon each and every day. I have promised myself I will read the Book of Mormon every single day for the rest of my life and I hope you all will do the same.

 Yesterday I had to pretend Hermana Howe was an investigator and introduce her to the Book of Mormon... wow. The spirit hit me soo hard when I found myself expressing my deep love and passion for the Book of Mormon. It contains the true words of God and is the KEYSTONE to not only our religion but our lives!!!! It has every answer and oh my goodness, I love and appreciate it more than I ever have in my life. It is INCREDIBLE!!! Ahhhhhh I wish I could express my true feelings about how much I love that book. It contains pure gold I tell you. My testimony is growing and being strengthened soo much each and every day here you guys. It honestly overwhelms me how passionate I feel for the work I am doing and the overall gospel of our loving Savior Jesus Christ.

The Savior is with me all day every day and I love him soo much. This past week I have also grown such an appreciation for all he has done, does, and will continually do for me. He has suffered sooo much for ME. And for EACH AND EVERY ONE of us. So that we can return to our Father in Heaven. This now reminds me of the most powerful talk I've heard since I've been here.. On Sundays we always have devotionals from an Apostle and this past Sunday we were fortunate enough to hear from our most beloved Elder Holland. Ohh my goodness this man speaks to my SOUL!!!! Actually, this talk he seemed to yell at it. He was literally raising his voice to the missionaries and getting so passionate about what he was talking about that my drop literally dropped and all of us missionaries were just frozen with our eyes glued on the screen. He talked about many aspects of missionaries and missionaries after their missions etc. I'll tell you real quickly my favorite things he said... so he talked about how they expect a lot out of us and don't apologize for it. They expect us to grow up over night and put away our childish pasts and things. He talked about how we need to keep that perfect image of a missionary and we don't have the PRIVILEGE (whenever I use caps from what he said it's because he was pretty much yelling haha) to to change the tradition of missionary service in our church. Therefore, we have a huge responsibility.

He talked about how missionaries often complain about how hard the work is and then followed to say, very loudly and powerfully into the mic (you all know how Elder Holland is) .... "Of course missionary work isn't easy.... SALVATION ISN'T A CHEAP PRICE!!! It was NEVER easy!!!" and then ... "Why would it be easy for us when it WAS NEVER EASY FOR HIM!?!?!" ... what gives us the right to think we're special and missionary work shouldn't be difficult when we're not even experiencing the tiniest bit of what our Savior Jesus Christ went through. Ohhh man did that hit me hard. It was sooo powerful I felt my heart stop and soul tremble haha. Wow. Elder Holland inspires me in more ways than I can express. And then he talked about after our missions and how the church expects one convert out of each and every one of us. That convert being ourselves. He said saving our own soul will be enough and the rest is frosting on the cake. I loved that though because he said him and President Monson are worried missionaries and making sure that they themselves are converted. Because he followed to say that if we do not have the gospel sooo engraved and deep into our souls... how can we expect those we teach to?? We ourselves must be converted first... or else he said, "WHY ON EARTH ARE WE GOING!?!" (on missions) ... pretty powerful huh?? It still gives me chills thinking back on it. And then last thing that really really hit me was he talked about after our missions and he said, "Don't you DARE come home and in the first 5 minutes try not to look like a missionary." ... "Some say they want to get back to "real life" ... THIS IS REAL LIFE!!!" and then he said we will never go back to the lives we had before and never be the same person we were before if we take our missions serious and let the gospel sink deep into our hearts and souls. Ohh man. Incredible. I will never be the person I was before my mission or live the same life. I am devoting myself to this gospel not only during the time of my mission but for the rest of my life. 

So anyways, as of now I am going to savor every solitary moment I have as a missionary and work my hardest every minute as well. This is my time to serve our Lord with all my heart and soul and devote myself 100% to him. I feel so blessed to be apart of this wonderful work and bring all those I can unto our amazing and loving Savior, Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary!!!!!!!! And I love you mi familia soooo so much. My heart is so full every day thinking about all of you. Also, all my loving and amazing friends at home. LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!
Con mucho mucho amor, Hermana Barth

1 comment:

  1. i love this and why is she the PRETTIEST sister missionary in history? always sad to hear of anything from j.crew being damaged though haha send her our love! xo