Thursday, September 4, 2014

Week #5

Hey everyone!

My time here at the CCM has gone so fast.  I cant believe I will be leaving the CCM on MONDAY for Chile. My flight leaves at about 8:30 at night and I will get there at about 6:50 Tuesday Morning. I can't wait to get there.  I am so excited to go there and finally get to teach the people there, although I am sure the language is going to seem completely different.  I know that all that matters is that I do my best and follow the spirit, and the Lord will make up for my gaps in the language.

This week was really great I have grown so much spiritually and in the language.  We took our assessments this week and are now just finishing up and preparing to leave.  I am so excited to go, but I am definitely going to miss my companions and the Elders in my district so much as we are all going to different missions.  I have learned so much from each and everyone of them and it is going to be hard to say goodbye, but I know that they are all going to be absolutely amazing missionaries.

This past Sunday, I was called up to give a talk in Sacrament.  I kind of new I was going to be called up the moment I walked in the room. I could just feel it.  It was the most amazing experience for me although it of course was a little nerve racking giving a talk in spanish. I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father was mindful of me and gave me this experience.  I was able to completely put the talk aside I had written about the Restoration (which was our topic) and speak from the heart.  I felt the spirit so strong and I definitely received the gift of tongues at that time, to be able to speak the things I was feeling in my Heart.

My district volunteered to host yesterday for all the new incoming missionaries, which was so much fun to see their excitement to come out and serve and remember back to when I was just getting here at the MTC and to get to talk to them about how amazing it is here at the CCM.

If you see Mickayla let her know that I saw her cousin Chase who just got here.  He looked so excited and happy to be here and you could see in his countenance how ready he was to serve. although he is still getting used to being a missionary and just about gave me a hug before I reached out my hand to shake his hand.  

I am excited to here about all the missionaries leaving from our ward.  I can just imagine how dynamic Derek's farewell talk was. He is going to be a great missionary with that dynamic personality of his.

Okay to answer your questions.  Yes there is a wall around the temple.  But it is not very big and its more like a small version of the one around temple square.  Anyone is welcome into the visitors center and temple grounds.  The temple is going to be closed for a  very long time for renovation. I think the wall might be there a little for protection so everyone has to go through the same way, but its really not a big wall like the one around the MTC.

The food here is different.  I still eat a lot of pb and nutella sandwiches and cereal.  I haven't been sick since that one time, but I do have to be careful what I eat here as if you eat the wrong thing it will make you a little sick for the rest of the day.  I assure that the food is safe here it is just different and so I think it just is an adjustment for our bodies.  They do make some american foods everyone's in a while though.  We have pizza every week from Costco.  They also have fish a lot which is usually good.  The good thing is that they always have a salad bar, lot of breads, fruits, sometimes pasta.  So there is always something you can eat if you don´t like what they are offering.  The other thing is sometimes the food from the main line is cold, but there is a microwave so we have learned to just reheat some of our food, but I don´t really feel comfortable eating it when the meats cold so those days we just go for a peanut butter nutella sandwich.  Almost every missionary gets sick once while they are here, but usually not as sick as we got.  I guess there was just some virus going around, but it is gone now and we are a lot better. 

My companion Hermana Fernelious is great.  She is so funny and always makes the day a lot of fun, especially when we have been in a class all day and just need a good laugh.  She is half Ecuadorian, so she grew up with Spanish in her home.  She has been able to help me a lot with my Spanish.  It has even so fun having her in our companionship.

Spanish is going pretty good. I have come leaps and bounds from where I started.  I can say a lot, especially when It comes to the gospel. Outside topics I can't do quit as much.  My only real struggle is just understand the grammar.  I can say most things, I just don't always use the right tense or grammar, but they can usually figure out what I am saying and it is getting a lot better.  We learn a lot of grammar in class and on the computer and then outside of that we mostly just learn the terms we need to teach lessons, but the rest of the vocabulary just comes from talking with natives and using Spanish as much as you can outside of class.  We do memorize scriptures a little bit because it is much more powerful.  I can do the first vision and James 1:5, but we are working on memorizing D&C 4 and another scripture that I haven't gotten to before I left.  Memorizing in Spanish though is really hard for me, especially scriptures because I don´t always understand all the words. But once I get them down and work to understand them, I am able to retain them pretty well.  We do not memorize stuff for lesson, some missionaries try to, but lessons are really supposed to be guided by the spirit.  My companions and I just make a plan with bullet points and scriptures and then we just make sure that we study up on the topic we are teaching and the vocabulary in that topic, but for the most part it just comes from the heart and often times we don´t end up following the plan because of promptings to talk about something else or based on their needs. If they ask questions then we just do our best to answer those and don't worry as much about our plan.

I am so excited to go to Chile, because I know there are people there that I promised to teach in the pre-earth life and God is preparing them right now for me.  It is so amazing being a missionary, because you get to feel a little bit of Gods love for other people and it is the most amazing feeling. God loves us all so much.  I already love the people of Chile. I pray to feel love for them every day and although I am not there yet I already feel that love for them.  And I can't wait for next Tuesday, when I will actually be out teaching them!

Love ya,
Hermana Stringham

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