First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY KENNA! I hope you have an amazing day and year...kinda crazy to think that when I get back you will be 14. Woah!
I have to let you all know that the hardest thing in the world is to get on the computer every day to use language learning software and not pull up my email...its right there....and it kills me not to talk to you, but I'm really working on this whole exact obedience deal. It hasn't always been one of my strengths.
So much happens in a week here that it is impossible to tell you all about it, but P-days are my favorite! It is so good to hear from everyone and it makes my week so much better and easier! Sorry I don't have time to respond really long notes to all of you, but know I appreciate it TONS!!!
Also, Tanner. Your. Hair. Looks. Amazing. I seriously honestly love it. Thanks for sending me pictures!
Thursday I taught our investigator with no notes in Spanish, so that was super exciting. My grammar is sooooooo bad though. I kinda gave up trying to conjugate verbs halfway through. I just kinda threw them out there. I for sure need to work on that. We also started night classes on Friday, so as if my days weren't long enough....haha. Actually, I love night classes way more than day classes because our night teacher is super funny and smart. Hes at the best University in MX right now studying Civil engineering and he taught himself English,, he speaks with barely an accent. Its impressive. The period of time between lunch and night classes is the hardest because it is so repetitive and I've never been one for an exact routine. But, even though I'm nowhere even remotely near fluent, I'm understanding and remembering a lot more than I could in high school.
Funny story for this week. One of the other teachers in our building, Hermano Sanchez, learned English by watching movies, which totally makes sense because it basically sums up his personality. He is hilarious. So we were in our classroom studying *we basically live in there* and he comes in and asks me where I'm from. I still claim Atlanta, mostly because I hate claiming Utah since there are so many from Utah, and this is what he says [por que usted no es negra- hahahaha. This guy, born and raised in Mexico City, got his picture of Atlanta from Hollywood. It was the funniest conversation of my life.
This week, I also learned for sure that sudden gracefulness is not a blessing of serving a mission. Sad day. I was really hoping for it and waiting for it to kick in, but nope. I seriously suck at volleyballl. The only thing I suck more at is basketball. So basically, I don't fit in here during gym time. I miss my pool!!!! On Saturday, I got a massive bruise on my arm, [I mean huge, I think I broke a blood vessel], re-injured the finger I hurt during water polo last year in a game of kick ball, ran into two doors, and tripped over the sidewalk. And that is just in one day. My comp is super athletic, you asked about that mom, so she thinks its hilarious.
On Sunday, Anderson and I were asked to serve as STLs starting next Sunday when the other ones leave. Mom, you asked about Sister Sipple, the STL that swam for fish market. She wore a fish market shirt at gym one day and I asked her about it. Her name is Elliott Sipple. Being an STL will be an adventure for sure because Sister Anderson and I are both the type to kinda do our own thing, so I think God knew we need to learn how to reach out to others. Plus, on Sunday night we watched the devotional that Elder Bednar gave at the Provo MTC a couple years ago and it was AMAZING. He talked about the character of Christ to turn out when we want to turn in. That is definitely something I am trying to work on.
I love this language. Spanish is beautiful. But when I think about actually teaching I genuinely spend a lot of time wishing I could speak English. It is frustrating being unable to express myself and how I feel and how important all of this is. It is definitely outside of my comfort zone to put myself on the line for the people I don't know, but it will be good for me and I've already learned a lot.
All day Friday and Saturday I was thinking about State and how my girls did. It sounds like it went sooo well! How did Trevor do? I can't believe I'm missing polo season. I miss the pool and the team so much! I need weekly updates! It is really really really hard to think about the fact that I am missing the best part of the year! It was rainy and super windy here on Friday and Saturday though which was awesome! I guess that is about as much water as I will get for the next year and a half.
I was humbled a little bit this week. Another teacher came into our day class and just immediately rubbed Anderson and I the wrong way. She stepped all over our normal teachers toes and was pretty frustrating. I was having a really hard time learning from her because I was so distracted by how much I wanted her to leave. But then I looked down at the scriptures we were reading and...BAM! 3 Nephi 11:29. He who has contention is not of me but of the devil. I got the message and worked really hard to find good qualities which is a good thing because she actually comes in quite a bit during class.
For Tuesday night devotional, one of the 70 came and talked to us and it was super funny because it was basically identical to the talk we listed to from Elder Bednar on Sunday. I really liked something he said on Tuesday though, he said that only those who resist temptation know the true power of temptation. Its so true! I've thought about how hard it is to sit at the computer with email at my fingertips and have the self control not to pull it up. And so many other temptations I've faced in my life. Its only when we don't give into the temptation that we truly know how powerful and hard they can be. Cool thought.
One good thing, the CCM is sooooo much more relaxed than the Provo MTC. They allow music as long as it is in accordance with the white Bible, so we have been listening to Disney music every night. It has helped with my music withdrawals a little bit. Did you ever think I would be excited to listen to Disney music? haha
Oh, yeah, Valentines Day was on Saturday. Man. Valentines at the CCM. Its pretty entertaining. We still had all the same classes and everything but the elders talked soooooo much about the girls the had left at home. It was kinda sad. The highlight of the day was playing zone kickball where I re-injured my broken finger from polo....yeah, that day was entertaining.
There was a quote I heard that sums up this experience pretty well. They said that learning another language at an MTC is like being thirsty and trying to drink from a fire hydrant, you get a little bit of water but mostly it just hurts your face. Haha.
Oh yeah, one other thing. Wearing shoes all the time is tearing. my. feet. apart. Bad. My feet miss not being in shoes all the time. Haha. Once a polo player, always a polo player.
But anyway, I really liked Elder Bednar's talk on Sunday because he talked a lot about losing yourself in the work. This work isn't about me. I didn't choose to come out here for me, and I am so excited to be in Florida. If you can find that talk, you should listen to it because I can't give justice to it on here. It is super good!
Love all of you so much! You mean the world to me and it makes my life to hear from you!
Sister Bren Scadden