Thank you everyone for your help and condolences. You are all terrific. This is last weeks letter I'm posting.
Sounds like things are going well back home with Joe and Matt and work and the play...although I'm really sorry to hear about cousin Erika. I'll be remembering Uncle Mark and all of you in my prayers.
I'm over my sick, at least. Yeah, it probably was Montezuma's Revenge...I don't think it was from the water though, since they are very careful here with the water, and we were all given water bottles with filters in them, and all other water we drink is from bottled water. Unfortunately I still got it, heh. Sometimes you just can't avoid everything. XD
The language is coming along nicely, by the way. Estoy apprendiendo mucho y entiendo mucho también. Gramática y otros están difícil avesces, pero estudio y practico cuando puedo.
I'm relieved and exceedingly grateful that the Lord has blessed me to pick it up again with little difficulty - at least, with little stress. The rest of my district seems to struggle more than I do...my poor companion has very little faith in her language abilities, although she's better than she thinks. I help her as best I can. Plus I've gotten a reputation with the Elderes for "knowing everything". Oh, ask Hermana Sellers, she knows everything. More often than not if they ask me, though, I say, "Gee, I dunno. I'll check the dictionary." I wonder if they'll figure out they can check the dictionary on their own...ha ha ha! I kid. They're a great bunch. All my companions in the district are such fun, strong-spirited people, and I wouldn't trade them for the world.
One thing though is with Hermana Aiono...about a week ago, she took a fall while playing volleyball, and tore the ligaments in her knee. I don't know the specifics, but it's pretty bad...she's been in a wheelchair since, with her leg in a stabilizer. She had to go to the hospital and see a specialist. The down-low is that she tore it pretty bad, but if it can heal in the next two weeks before they check it again, then she can still go on her mission. If it's torn again, then she'll need to go back to the States for surgery. She's pretty worried, although I'm not. I have no doubt in my mind that she'll serve her mission. If not now, then later. But she will.
Especially because of her superpower. Hermana Aiono has the uncanny ability to sense folks' emotions. (In particular, she can sense when folks "like" each other...which was really funny, especially when the Elders started going after her for details.) She's really accurate with it too. So with a spiritual gift like that, I'm sure she'll get on her mission. But it'd be great, too, if you guys could remember her in your prayers.
Alright, now time for some miscellaneous info in no particular order!
First off, Hermana Quist (Aiono's companion) and I discovered something beautiful. The Spanish word for "sin", is "pecado". Which is very, very similar to "pescado", which means fish. So during Spanish practice, we were practically in fits, we were laughing so hard, as we straight-faced taught one another in Spanish.
"Hermana, what do you want in life?"
"I want the forgiveness of my fish."
"How do you receive the forgiveness of your fish?"
"Through repentance we can all receive the forgiveness of our fishes."
We also realized that all birds are dirty, since they all say, "Kaw kaw!" Say that out loud and think about what word that is in Spanish. (And I'm pretty sure it's not the swear word version, at least not in Mexico. Don't worry. X'D)
I discovered this week that pesos look really cool. Like, they have a yellow middle and a ring of silver all around, with aztec symbols and the Mexican eagle. Like seriously, why doesn't American money look this cool?! I couldn't help but spend some of my cash just so I could get a few pesos in change. Plus I could buy these Mexican chocolate bars that are my favorite...they're called Milch Emperadors, and they're like chocolate, on chocolate, with red velvet cookie in the middle. Mmmmm.
Our district had a rap battle with another district the other day. Well, it was more of a hymn battle. I wanted to call it the Hymn Battle of the Republic. XD We each had remixes of hymns or primary songs(childrens Hymns), and so we laid them down hard core. Ours was a remix of Book of Mormon stories, and it was way cool. But we were blown out of the water by the other district, they had this incredible medley of Spirit of God, and Come Thou Fount. It was a lot of fun to sing and be silly together, and drop mad beats.
Here's another funny story from this week...Hermana Hopkins and I were teaching our progressing investigator (who's also our teacher XD) and we were teaching a lesson about agency and choices. So I was telling him, in Spanish, "We have the power to choose between good and bad. This power is a gift from God, and it's called..." I didn't know the word for agency, but I made an educated guess. "...Agencia."
Carlos, our investigator, nodded and we continued, and I kept saying agencia...finally at one point, with a puzzled look, he stopped me, and questioned, "Agencia?"
"Uh...yes? The power to choose...?"
"Oh, no, that's albedrío. Agencia is like...cars. Like a car agency."
It was pretty funny. XD The mistakes you make in language, eh?
It's been a good week for learning and for spiritual experiences and stuff. I've been reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish, which has been really interesting, especially as I'm starting to understand more. I'm reading it together with the English version, Other-Side-of-Heaven style. I recently was just studying, and I rediscovered Alma 29. It's such a wonderful chapter, especially for missionaries, I think. It sums up a lot of how I feel. The gospel is such joy - we should want to share it with the whole world!
We also went to the temple today! We got to ride a bus through Mexico City, in all its crazy smell, color and sound, to the Mexico City Temple. It's such a cool temple, since it has elements of ancient architecture involved in the design. I'll try to send a photo. The temple is closed currently, for repairs, so we aren't able to go inside. But we could take photos and we went through the visitor's center.
It is SUCH a cool visitor's center. My family knows, we've been to a lot of visitor's centers, but this one was the best I've ever been to. It was fun to take the tour in Spanish, and I even understood most of it! But then they had this room with all these interactive games, and picture books, and a camera thing set up to take your photo, email it to yourself AND print it out for you all nice and fancy. So I have a printed copy of the photo and I think you received the emailed one. I put your email in. But they had these games, and they had a room with CARTOONS. I was in seventh heaven. It was this adorably animated version of Book of Mormon stories, in this crazy art style, and I was just freaking out because it was cartoons. XD
We didn't have a lot of time to spend there, so we went to the gift shop, and they had cool stuff but I didn't have time to get anything. My souvenirs are my photos, and those are better anyway. We took some pictures of our district in the visitor's center, and then we had to board the bus and head back. It was a lot of fun, though. It feels surreal to be back in the CCM after being outside. It's like being completely seperated from the world outside. It's a little piece of paradise. A paradise that involves a lot of classes and studying. XD
I love you all and I hope you're doing well. May the Lord be with you!
Hermana Sarah Sellers