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Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Hand of the Lord in My Life

¡Hola Mamá!

I'm sorry to say that we are still sick. I basically just have a runny nose and a sore throat that comes and goes. Hermana J is still really bad though. The doctor thinks she has a sinus infection and so he gave her some antibiotics for that, but so far they only make her feel worse. We're going to go back soon to see if that's normal or not. I really hope she gets better soon. She has trouble thinking and focusing and it's even harder for her to learn Spanish when she's sick.

So the Elderes are pretty funny. Before a devotional one day, the CCM president told us that in Spanish culture if someone tells you, buen provecho (like, bon apetit) you have to say gracias or it is really rude. Apparently anyone will say it to anyone (you know, because people are actually friendly here). Every time the Elderes see us, they say ¡Buen provecho! whether or not we are eating. It happens all the time. It's funny but can be slightly annoying at times, you know, when we're studying. I think a lot of the culture I get is the food. It's not super good Mexican food, but it's Mexican food. It's cool though.

I'm so proud of my sisters. Being missionaries! Tell them to keep up the good work. I'm excited for them. I love how much you feel the spirit when you are teaching the gospel. It's amazing.

Here are my funny stories for the week:

Elder C (the old district leader who is now the zone leader) didn't know any Spanish before coming here and so sometimes he asks stupid questions. This week it was, ¿cómo se dice "how"? If you don't get it, ask Dad. He'll tell you.

Another story concerning Elder C. There is this Hermana who we hang out with during gym time. Everyone calls her Hermana Mack, I'm not sure what her actual name is. But the other day (don't ask me how this got started, I just walked in on it) the girls were describing their perfect guy and she described this guy and all the girls in my district were thinking "that sounds like Elder C", but we didn't say anything. Later she told us that the guy she had a crush on was Elder C. It's really funny to hear her talk about it. Super funny. She's like "I can't even talk to him". We, of course, just laugh because it's Elder C! I suppose it isn't as funny to you guys, but if you listened to her, you would think it was funny too.

Sometimes when we are learning new grammar, we play games. These games we usually divide into two or three groups and it involves someone asking a question to someone on the other team (in Spanish and using the new grammar) and them having to respond. If they respond correctly, they get a check mark, if they respond incorrectly, they get an X and after three Xs they have to do push ups (or squats for the Hermanas). Since no one wants to do push ups, when we ask a question, we narrow in on the people who are the worst at Spanish, namely the people who didn't know any Spanish before they got here. So, Hermana J, Hermana C, and Elder C get picked on a lot. I don't get picked on very much. It's kind of hilarious that we do that. But they do just as well as every one else.

They other day Hermana J was feeling really bad. Like so bad she didn't like walking. Hermano H divided us into "investigators" and "missionaries" so we could do an activity. Well, he wanted whichever group Hermana J was in to go outside the classroom. I gave him this look that was like "really?" and then I looked at her. Apparently she also gave him a look, I think it was more of sickly despair, and he paused for a moment, fumbled with his words, and then told the other group to go outside. It was really funny. 

Hermano V (AKA our first investigator) is our other teacher, and he is hilarious. Maybe that's just because he thinks we are hilarious. The Elderes, I don't know why, started this thing where they would start to clap when people entered the room. So we did that for Hermano V a couple of times. He laughs. Sometimes he'll leave and then reenter really fast so that we can applaud him again. It reminds me of when you play peek-a-boo with a little kid and they start to cover your face and uncover your face because they think it's so funny. I don't know, maybe it's just the language barrier, or maybe he's just a happy person, but he's really fun, and he thinks we're funny, and it's just awesome.

Now on to some other experiences:

This week we didn't have like a zone meeting, meet the new people, kind of thing that we did the past couple of weeks and so Hermana J and I never got to meet the new girls. We really wanted to meet them before we had to interview them because those first couple of days are really hard and they need some encouragement. Well, one day we just randomly sat next to these two girls at lunch, and guess what! They were two of the new girls in our zone! It was so cool! (I don't believe for a moment that it was a coincidence.) Like the next day, we were wondering about the other girls, and we were looking at their pictures (we have pictures of everyone in the zone) to see if we could recognize them later, and later that day, we randomly ran into them on the way to gym! It was crazy! But once again, it wasn't a coincidence, we needed to meet them. It's been so cool to see how that just happens.

This past week we have been thinking about birthdays. We knew that one girl had a birthday while she was at the CCM and we wanted to make sure that no one else had a birthday here and we not know about it. So with this on our minds we went to Relief Society on Sunday. They had the girls that were leaving stand up, and then if it was your birthday to stay standing. Hermana H (a sister in our zone who has been here longer than us and was leaving that week) was standing! We had no idea! So we decided to do something for her. The other day we had bought chokis and other cookies but hadn't eaten the chokis yet (by some miracle) so we decided to give her the chokis. I used the card making supplies that you had me buy to make a card (well, Hermana J has better handwriting so she made the card) and we headed over to her classroom to give it to her. She wasn't there so we talked to the Hermanas and Elderes in her district. We asked if we should wait for her or leave it on her desk. They said that she loved surprises so we thought we would hide it in her bag. She found it during devotional and she said it made her entire day. I'm glad that it worked out that way. That we didn't eat the chokis, that she was standing up at Relief Society and that she happened to be in the bathroom when we came by. I love that we had the opportunity to serve her.

We have some girls that are having some problems. They are in a trio and so it's harder for them. One of the girls also has dyslexia and so learning Spanish for her is so hard. She astounds me, that she can be learning so much and working so hard when reading English, let alone Spanish, is ridiculously hard, and to be in a trio! We're trying to help them all that we can and I pray for them every day.

I had the opportunity of helping some of the other hermanas in our zone with Spanish. During one of our study times I just went over everything that they had learned so far. Writing down the rules, having me explain them, and going over examples really helped them learn it better. I'm so glad that I could help.

Looking back, I can really see the hand of the Lord in my life. In sixth grade I took intro to Spanish and intro to French to decide what language I should take after that (I had to) and Spanish was easier for me to learn, so from then on I took Spanish. If it hadn't been easier for me, I might have taken French, if I had taken French I wouldn't be able to help people like I have been able to. If people from the CCM had called to test my Spanish, I probably wouldn't be in this district, I might have been in an advanced class. If so I wouldn't have been able to help them. I think I really am supposed to be with these people, to help them with Spanish and with other things. I'm so glad I'm here!

The smallest memory stick won't hold a lot of pictures, so I might have to send it home soon. I don't think there's much on it. 


Con amor,
Hermana Leete



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