but we had to wait another week before we could share it, so enjoy (finally!):
Feliz Ano Nuevo!
Thank you! I'm so excited for the new year. Hermana Jensen's mom sent us Martinelli's and food, so we had a party last night too! In my mass email I'll mention a movie called Ephraim's Rescue, and you guys HAVE to see it! It's the best church movie I've seen.
I also will leave out of the mass email (because it isn't official until Sunday) that Hermana Jensen and I were asked to be Sister Training Leaders (Zone Leaders for the sisters in our zone, because Elders are limited from counseling sisters). Isn't that exciting? It's a new calling in the mission world because there are so many sisters. So I'm technically a zone leader! Lol, it's exciting.
Would you be able to order prints to send to the MTC of the District Christmas Eve photo (the one where we all match)? That would be awesome!! Thanks! Talk to you more soon. I love you!
...and now, here's This weeks email received on Tuesday, January 12th:
Despite being a p-day, this evening I felt more stressed here than I have since I was at school at UCLA. Between preparing for a musical number (on flute, with Elder Cluff on piano), 4 upcoming lessons to prepare for the next day, some STL responsibilities, and Hermana Jensen and I leaving our laundry in the dryers overnight because we ran out of time to get them after the evening devotional, I felt a little overwhelmed. I got through it and tried to just have faith (and remember to never leave my laundry again, lol).
Heavenly Father really won't give you anything you can't handle. I got to practice difference music pieces with Elder Cluff and it was very helpful. I forgot how comforting and stress-relieving it is to play music, especially beautiful church music. We ended up only having 1 lesson instead of 4, so we were really grateful to be able to plan. Our lesson with Mercedes went okay, but she is a difficult investigator. Even though we were doing better with the language and could feel the spirit, she seemed as if she couldn't and we got seemingly worse results. This was hard on us, but we adjusted our prep for her lessons. Our district always makes each other feel better, though. At lunch Elder Fillmore made a chili dog with salsa and Cholula and called it the "Rubio Roadkill," lol. In the evening we ran the new missionary orientation for our new missionaries in the Zone and it went very well and was a lot of fun. We taught them a lot of things we wished we knew our first day. At the end we gave them a really funny activity to collectively decide what animal each of the ZLs/STLs look like. The Elderes decided that Elder Jensen looked like a meercat and Elder Fillmore looked like a stag. The Sisters decided that Hermana Jensen looked like a chameleon (specifically Pascal, from Disney's Tangled) and that I looked like a chinchilla. Lol, now once in a while someone will call me "Chinchilla Cholula".
In class with Hermano Croft, he asked us what we are willing to sacrifice to be more than just obedient missionaries, but to be consecrated missionaries. Hermana Jensen suggested that we try to only speak Spanish. I didn't really like the idea because I would miss easily sharing stories and joking around with others in our district. When I expressed this to her, she responded that it wasn't for us. I was annoyed, but I knew she was right. Going to our two member TRC lessons (that we had about 20 minutes to prepare for because we didn't find out about it until an hour before), I was praying to feel better about this, and to be more willing to sacrifice. During our TRC's, I forgot about my stress, all the things I had to do, and my fears with speaking the language, and I was able to contribute unique ideas and feelings about our topic (Sabbath Day observance) in good/okay Spanish. Coming out of the lessons, feeling the spirit, I decided that my new goal would be to only speak espanol hasta Domingo. Hermana Jensen was really excited. Because of the new sacrifice, I was also able to more obediently finish planning and go to sleep earlier.
So. Much. Estudiando. (y hablando espanol)! I had a better and happier attitude all day. Hermana Jensen and I interviewed some of our new sisters before bed.
Today we learned progressivo, perfect and past, and commands in Spanish. Haber is my new favorite word. It fills in the gaps of what words I didn't know when reading el Libro de Mormon. We interviewed more sisters. One asked me how to get through homesickness. I told her that here I spent Christmas without my family, but that it was my only Christmas with my special family here. Everyone here looks familiar because we knew each other before, and we knew we would serve, and we planned to be here in the MTC together. She really liked that idea.
Our special evening devotional speaker was also our speaking guest in sacrament meeting combined with one other branch. I felt so blessed and learned more and took more notes in his sacrament meeting talk than his devotional talk. Nothing is a coincidence.
Busy and quick day. MUCH better lesson with Mercedes.
Today entrances and some hallways in our main building are closed off because 6 out of the 12 apostles are here for some training thing. The rumor is that one of them will speak at the devotional tonight! Either way I'm really looking forward to it, and the district meeting after.
Two weeks from today I will be flying out to Massachusetts!