Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I'm Catching My Stride

So this week started off pretty rough not gonna lie. We had one elder from our district go home, and then another of our sisters was having a really bad time with homesickness. She just would weep all throughout the day and night- so we tired our best to help her. Its tougher for some to be away from home and be basically plopped in the middle of South America.

The sisters who listen to my Pedro the fish story.

NEVERTHELESS-- she's doing great now, all smiles, and I am doing great great great. Days are eternity here but somehow weeks just zoom by. P-days are never long enough though :) 

We all bought crazy pants on our P-day
So some exciting news, one of my latina roommates got her endowments out on Thursday!!!!! :) She was so excited and we were so excited for her. Its really interesting here at the CCM because we have a whole range of different sisters. Our branch Pres. was telling us that some of them have to get use to sleeping in a bed, using a toilet and sleeping in a room with only 5 other people. Our sister Fuentes couldn't get to a temple before her mission, so she was able to take her endowments out here at the Lima temple.

Temple Trip

Outside the CCM gates
So the way it works is the North Americans are here at the CCM for 6 weeks and the Latinos are here for only 2. So we had to say goodbye to our Latina roommates last night and it was really sad, but in a good kinda way. They were both amazingly good fun and loved to teach us Spanish. We even had a little lesson where we post-it noted all the stuff in our bedroom with both Spanish and English words. Sister Fuentes (the darker one) wants to come to California someday (its her dream!) I told her if she made it up to Cali she would have to stay at my house :)

Learning Spanish/English via post it notes

The Latina Sisters who are leaving - Hermana Fuentes and Hermana Melara
The week was mainly classes of both Spanish grammar and practicing teaching. Its all day everyday, but you just gotta love it. Spanish is still a struggle (the struggle is real!!!), but its fun to learn stuff and then try and use it at lunch with the Latinos. We won´t get a knew group of Latinos or North Americans till Wednesday, so the CCM is really quite and empty. We met a set of real missionaries out in the town today during our p-day activities after going to the temple again (we get to go to the temple every week how cool is that??) and one of the elders was from Arizona. He told us that it took him a good 2 months out in the field before he started to understand anything. Sooooooooo yea-- I just gotta keep reminding myself that with time it will come.

Most of these people left on Monday
Saturday we got to leave the CCM and go proselytizing in the LIMA NORTH MISSION!!!! MY MISSION!!!! I was SOOOOO nervous though. I had ten days at the CCM under my belt and really only knew how to introduce myself. All the missionaries at the CCM went out that day and us north Americans were paired with a Latina missionary.

It was such an eye opener though. We went to a place in Lima North Mission where a huge jail was located, so we couldn't wear any jewelry and had to take only small bags to discourage us getting robbed. The part where we were at was very poor. It literally looked like a bomb had went off and people were living the the rubble. There are SOOOO many dogs too that are just roaming around the street. The 4 hours I was out I think I saw about 30. Our companionship was accompanied by a member who worked for the Liahona and we went to visit less actives. We only got to see two different people but we got to teach a little lesson at both.

 I couldn't understand a lick of it though. I literally just nodded and smiled and tried to bear my testimony when my companion nudged me. My companion was great though! She spoke a lot of English and was really excited to speak with me. She was from Paraguay and learned a lot of her English from watching the TV show, How I Met Your Mother. She kept reminding me that she knew how it felt to learn a new language and not get discouraged. It was soooooo frustrating though, not being able to contribute anything and feeling like a baby. I couldn't talk to anyone, couldn't fill out the paper work- NADA. Not going to lie, on the bus ride back from proselytizing I was feeling pretty down. I was wondering why I was really out here and how in the world I was going to be able to do this for 18 months.

My companion while proselyting 
Faith (Fe in español) is the first principle of the gospel and is something that is so important in our lives. Its extremely hard to truly obtain faith since its not something you can see or touch, but I´ve come to know that its is something that is vital in each and everyone of our lives. I´m learning so much about myself here that it is amazing. Not all of it is nice however, but introspection is important and while many strive for patience when dealing with others, we must also have patience with ourselves.

We had a fun ´stress management´ class last night were we got locked out on the field. Next to all the building is a fútbol field that is blocked off by a gate. Our teacher made us run suicides to prove some point about our heart, and one of the teachers locked the gate! Elder Pond, this total hipster elder in my district, had to get a latter and climb on top of this 15 foot wall to flag someone down to unlock the gate. Our teacher doesn't speak much English, but we found out later back in the class that it wasn't apart of the lesson and that she was actually kinda scared! Funny!! (well I guess for us not her).

I had my first bottle of IncaCola today, and yum yum it was so good. Since its just a group of us North Americans here at the CCM the cafiteria people made us pizza!! SOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDD!!!! I was in heaven, and we get a nap later so I'm just as happy as a lark.
All of us making funny faces
Until next week,

Hermana Bowers

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