January 23, 2014

Week Six (CCM) -- Holy Guacamole! WHAT ARE THESE FEELINGS??


Area: Mexico City MTC
Companion: Hermana Julia Dunne

Mi familia pequeñita, 

Can I just say that I love you all so much? I LOVED hearing about Ryan's baptism. I told everyone about it and they freaked out! This is pretty much the coolest thing in my life. I am pretty sad that I wasn't there, but I am so proud of Ryan. Ahhhhh, I am super happy and content right now! The CCM is treating me so well. I am soooo sad to leave in just a few short days. At the same time, I think I am super excited to be in Chile now. WHAT ARE THESE FEELINGS?? *Cue the random frenzy of thoughts.*

Holy guacamole, it only took five weeks -- but I think I have reached mental breakdown.

Sunday was especially fun (and when I mean fun I actually mean ugly sob mode). I was trying the whole day to pull myself together ... but then I would see someone from the little district that I loved so much (with E. Ford and E. Ellis) and I would almost cry. I am just speculating here, but I think that I was upset for a couple of reasons:

1. My body is finally starting to let me feel terrified. For the longest time, I felt like I was just neutral. I didn't really feel excited or nervous ... I just refused to accept that I would be leaving the American continent. Now, I feel terrified a lot of the time, but I also feel a little bit of excitement. On this past Sunday, these emotions kind of hit me like a brick. 

2. I truly and sincerely was freaking out about my little district. Hna. Dunne and I have gotten so close to these missionaries. It was so sad to see them leave! Every Sunday, they have a little going away slideshow before and after the movie of the week. When the pictures of our friends popped up, I just lost it. I was weeping. Like, more than crying but not really sobbing. We went up and took pictures and gave emails and then it was the end ... Time is such a precious thing! I really realized that fact this week. I think that is why I get so irked when we get off track during study or why I feel frustrated that I can't get to know everyone here like I knew this district that just left. There just isn't enough time in the day to mess around (in a bad way ... I am all for messing around when it is appropriate).

There were actually only two real reasons why I was crying ... but I certainly did a lot of it this week. This isn't to say that I am super depressed ... because I am not. I was thinking about it the other day and I have never really been that sad while here at the CCM. Have there been bad moments? Of course! Have there been times where I have felt disgusting and inadequate and self conscious? Of course! However, these feelings have become a little more stabilized since I have left home I think. Having such a wonderful environment definitely helps, but I also think that the Spirit is helping me to mellow out. Believe it or not, I haven't really felt anxious or homesick while I have been at the CCM. This is such a blessing for me. I have been trying to have a good attitude about things and it has been making a world of difference.

My time here is WINDING WAAAAAAY DOWN. We only have one day of class left, in field orientation, Sunday ... and then we leave Mondayafternoon. With the end of my experience here being so near, I have been doing a lot of thinking about the changes I have seen in myself and in my testimony. 

First of all, I have seen the most drastic change in my SPANISH. For sure, for sure. Yesterday, I taught the subjunctive tense to my class ... I also felt my tongue loosened in my lessons and while I was talking to Latinas at lunch. When I was studying at BYUI, I never, ever would have guessed how much taking that Spanish class would have blessed my life. Learning Spanish has been something that I have had to learn so much patience for. Even with my decent understanding of the language, it is SO difficult for me to speak. Even though I can pretty much understand everything that is going on, there are still times when I feel like the most stupid person in the world. It's like I have a Spanish brain and an English brain --- part of the challenge is making sure that the Spanish brain is working 24/7. We had a devotional that was all in Spanish and I understood ALL of it. This was such a blessing for me, because lately I have been feeling like the stupidest person alive when it comes to Spanish. I have been so blessed to truly UNDERSTAND Spanish. It's been great.

Hermana Dunne and I went to the doctor this week in real life Mexico City to get some blood-work done. It was the weirdest feeling looking at the little Mexican children in the waiting room and realizing that they probably knew more Spanish than me. Even with this really depressing realization, I felt so much love in my heart for the Spanish language in general. I closed my eyes for a little bit in the waiting room and just listened. I listened to the TV that was splurting out Spanish. I listened to the secretaries. I listened and I felt comforted. Spanish is such a beautiful language. I want to know it so badly. I am trying to be diligently studying ... hopefully this will pay off when I am in Chile. I am comforted by the fact that Hermana Dunne and I have so many Latina friends. It helps me to feel like no matter what happens, I will be okay.

I have also learned a lot about teaching and how to follow the spirit. Actually, this is about equal with my improvement in Spanish. At the beginning of being at the CCM, I totally struggled with this. I have always had a lot of faith about the Gospel, but it's has been hardly ever that I have had to rely on that faith and put it into practice. While I have been here at the CCM, I have been trying SO HARD to listen to the Spirit and to follow it -- every time. This has resulted in a lot of cool experiences -- while teaching and otherwise.

For example, this week, we taught our two investigators for the very last time. Jonothan is getting "baptized" on Saturday and we weren't really sure how to wrap up these loose ends. Hermana Dunne and I struggled to teach him more than ANY OTHER INVESTIGATOR. For this last time, we talked about tithing and the blessings that we get when we pay tithing. I wasn't really feeling that inspired when I walked into the lesson, but I started to talk and my mouth was filled. I shared a story about my own family and how we were blessed IMMENSELY for paying our tithing and I meant every single word I said. It was super, super powerful. I showed him a picture of us and said, "I will forever be grateful for my family's decision to pay an honest tithe." He agreed to live it and I left the room on a little cloud. I knew that I had been guided by the spirit to know what to say and it was awesome.

It was heartbreaking to teach Valentina for the last time. Hermana Dunne and I didn't teach any of the principles, really ... we just shared a cute little scripture about the Holy Ghost being with you forever and told her that we were getting transferred. I was super sad to end the lesson. With her, I feel like I have learned a lot about how to listen to people and to discern their needs. I am so grateful for these experiences. I hope that I will be able to apply them when I am actually our in the field.

Ahhhh, the field. I am going to be there SUPER SOON. I may or may not be able to call you before I get there! I am interested to see how everything will turn out. I hope to live every day as best as I can and to work my little heart out. I know that I have so much more to learn and I am super excited to learn it ... I just hope to do so with grace and patience. On Sunday, the whole CCM is going to be singing HASTA VER to ME! I am sure that it will be another ugly cry fest, but I am kind of excited. This chapter of my mission is coming to a close, but I feel like really my mission is just beginning. Here we go again.

Con mucho, mucho amor,

Hermana Blau

Second email later in the day with pictures:

Haha, the last hour has been wild. Check this out. 
First of all, our names are officially on the board! Waaaahooo! 
Second of all, Hna. Dunne and I saw Rodrigo! This was our first investigator.
Hna. Gamble and I -- watching the boys play frisbee
because we are no longer allowed to play. :)
So, I had this crazy random idea to build sand castles in the sand
volleyball court. I got a few girls from the zone together and we just
played for a solid hour and a half. Best decision ever!
More sand castles.
With Hermana Pierce.
I love this picture of Hermana Jones.

With Hermana Powley

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