Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 19, 2013 Week 2

   Time here flies by so fast!  We are already on week 3 and have less then a month here!  The CCM is just as beautiful and gorgeous as it was the last 2 weeks!  I love it so much here and it feels so normal and right to be here.  
  I sleep decent here.  The only thing that is a problem at times is one of my roommates who snores almost as loud as dad.  I´m not exageratting about this, she can seriously hold her own.  It finally got to the point where Hermana McRae and I had to beg our other roommate for ear plugs.  They help and it was hilarious when the Hermana Baldwin(the snorer)  finally asked, "Where in the world did all of you guys get matching earplugs!  Thats not even possible)  It was super funny.  
  The oils I brought are amazing!  I am not even joking.  Half my District and I would be dead without them!  So thank you so much Grandma!  So many people are sick here and I am just waiting for Hermana McRae and I to catch it.  Hermana Heaton, who is in my District has been so sick.  But not with anything normal.  Its something thats pretty serious she has had her whole life and thought that her faith would help her through it.  It is something with her stomach and not accepting the food she eats, but I don´t understand much more.  It is so sad to watch her be in pain and how much she wants to stay here and serve.  So the Elders in our District gave her a blessing and it was amazing.  The things that were said were so true and it really brought our District together as a family.  It was something I will always remember.  
    Almost every day for physical activity we play volleyball with a lot of the missionaries from our zone.  And can I just say, I am AWESOME!  I have seriously never played this good before in my life.  And somehow I can even jump high enough to spike the ball.  Like a legitimate spike that leaves people in awe haha.  No joke, I even had on Elder Bowing at me once haha.  I felt pretty dang cool.  At times, when the gym is full, we play in the sand court and it is so much harder.  Every time the ball goes up in a serve or hit, your face gets showered in sand.  I have a beach on my cheekbones every time we get done.  
   The other day an Elder accidenttily farted during our class time, and it was the best thing that has happened here.  We were all quiet for awhile, you know, trying to be polite and just ignore what happened.  Until we look over at Elder Grzan and he looks like he is in such physical pain because he is trying so hard to not laugh.  Then we all start laughing hysterically and could not stop.  Even our Maestro finally sat on the floor because he couldn´t breathe anymore.  This went on spontaneously all day.  Even anyone remembered this incident they would bey hysterical suddenly and it would all start over.  It is probably one of those things where you had to have been there.  But let me assure you, there was no dry eyes in our District that day.  
    I hate hotdogs.  I´ve never truly like them before, but now I hate them adamantly.  To the point where if I ever see anyone even in a hotdog suit I will probably run over and shove them to the ground.  The put hotdogs in everything here!  It is in salads, soup, pasta, bread, enchiladas, beans, rice.  You name it, and I am sure there is a hotdog disguised somewhere in it.  And the hotdogs are what make you sick here.  For real, we would rather not eat then have something with a hot dog.  So that Digest-zen oil has saved the lives of my entire district and has spared us from some super scary things.  Im sure you can only imagine what.  
   You know how in my last letter I said I loved Spanish?  Well that was a lie.  Despise is a strong word but I am still considering using it.  It is so hard here.  You spend hours and hours trying to learn just a few sentences and it is so hard not to get discouraged.  Yes, I know a little more Spanish then I used to but not as much as I want.  We see everyone here so fluent and so many missionaries are learning fast and easy, its hard to watch.  For example, an Elder in our District barely knew any spanish but now he is almost fluent.  It is insane and we just stare at him in wonder.  He says its because the Lord knew he needed the extra help learning and so that means that the Lord knows we are capable of learning on our own.  I hope he is right, I don´t feel like I will ever be able to speak fluent Spanish.  The best I can do when a Latino comes up to talk to me is go all tribal on them.  With lots of weird, intangible sounds coming from my mouth accompanied with hand gestures and charades.  It is not a very pretty sight. 
   The lessons with our investigator has been improving a lot though, which is super excited.  It is getting easier to understand and talk with him.  But we have been focusing on the language more and havn´t had the spirit as strong as we should have.  So this last lesson with him we sang a hymn to bring the spirit.  Yes, you just heard that right.  I sang a hymn, OUT LOUD, to someone.  It wasn´t too bad actually.  But it definitly set the tone for the rest of the lesson.  Hermana McRae and I flowed and were able to commit him to baptism!  YAY!  He kept saying how he wants to follow Christ and be good but doesn´t understand why he cant do that without baptism.  So I whipped out 2nd Nephi and showed him where Christ was baptised and the Lord says that we need to follow his example and be baptized also.  So then of course Juan kept saying how he wasn´t ready and he just needed to learn more.  But I kept assuring him that if he truly had faith in Jesus Christ then baptism was the first step to show that Faith unto him.  And that afterwards his Heavenly Father would bless his faith and help him with everything.  I wouldnt have pressured him if he wasnt ready but he was.  He was just chickening out at the last moment.  So we were super stoked and glad of our success.
  Now we have a new investigator.  His name is Elias Nefichili. He is young and went to church once and became interested.  This lesson mí comañera and I decided not to bring any language books, phamplets, or notes into the lessons.  Just us and our scriptures.  Which was really nerve wracking because we do not speak any spanish at all.  But the spirit was there and it went great.  We came up with things to say and we were even finishing each others sentences in Español.  Which is Crazy!  The spirit was guiding us toward what to say and we both knew what we had to do.  We asked him if he read the LDM(Libro de Mormon) and sincerly prayed to God and knew it was true, if he would commit to baptism.  He said yes!  So he really wants to know the truth. Elias said he felt our sincerity and felt something.  He is getting really excited and wants to only find the truth.  We are excited but also stressed to continue teaching him.  
   Um, funny and random story.  I can now rip apples in half with my bare two hands.  It is very cool and makes me feel empowered haha.  Hermana Heaton taught me how and I was demonstrating in my casa when 2 Hermanas arrived just in time to see me break it.  The were pretty impressed haha.
   And now I slackline as well.  If you don´t know what it is then look it up, its pretty cool.  It is like tight rope but much bouncier.  An Elder brought one and it has been fun to practice on.  
  So you know how everyone says the MTC is the most spiritual place ever?  And how people feel the spirit so strong here?  Well I was struggling a little because I felt like I haven´t been feeling the spirit here almost at all.  Only during Hermana Heaton´s blessing.  That was until Sunday.  Oh my goodness, Sundays are amazing here!  I think in a letter I wrote in the mail I explained last Sunday and told about it.
   But I absolutely love Sundays!!  We start with Relief Society with Sister Pratt, and the lessons are always amazing.  Then Sunday School with our District and then we have Sacrament.  This gets a little nervewracking because we are given a topic for talks around Thursday but don´t know who will be speaking until actual Sacrament.  But thank goodness it wasn´t me.  It was Hermana Heaton.  And as soon as she stood up you could feel the spirit so strong.  IDK what it is about her but I just love her to death!  She truly is amazing.  Then an Elder in the other District played an amazing song on the piano about Josephs smiths first vision.  It was so beautiful that we were all crying.  It could not be helped.  Then guess what, I was called up to bear my testimony!  Yikes, I couldn´t even tell he said my name because he had such a strong accent.  I probably should have done it in Spanish but couldnt recall one word.  So I did it in English.  which is better because everyone knew what I was saying and I was able to adequetly express my feelings.  The spirit was really strong when I bore my testimony.  I have never had anything like that happen before.  I cried and others cried.  It was crazy and super weird haha.  And then all day I just kept on crying!  I had felt the spirit so strong and just couldnt get my eyes to stop.  How weird, especially for me.  Every Sunday we watch a church movie, which is the best part of our week haha.  This week´s was the Testaments.  About Jesus Christ and also the people in the Americas.  I have seen it many times before but it truly just hit on Sunday.  It was amazing.  The spirit was so strong throughout the auditorium and everyone was crying their eyes out!  Everyone!!  Elders and Sisters.  Which was good and made it less awkward that I was crying.  It was a really special moment and truly testified to all of us about our Savior and that HE LIVES!.  It is still so surreal to be surrounded by so many amazing and strong spirits.  I love it.  And I love how strong the spirit was on sunday.  It was exactly what I needed and will never forget the way I felt throughout that day.  
  I am sorry this letter was so long,  we had more time then usual to write and I wanted to make sure and tell you everything.  Or almost everything haha.  So much happens here it is impossible to keep track of it all.  But I truly do love it here and have met so many people I want to always stay in touch with.  
  I want everyone to know I truly have a testimony of this Gospel and the happiness it can bring to everyones life.  I wouldn´t be here if I didn´t feel that way.  I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that he atoned for my sins and for yours.  He loves us more then we can ever comprehend on this earth.  
I love you all so much.
Until next week!

Hermana Adair

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The selfie of me with my nametag is super ghetto, I will have an official one next time.

 This picture is with all of the Hermanas in my district. (Left to Right): Hermana McRae, Hermana Heaton, Hermana Moser, and Me.

These two are our view of the outside from inside this spiritual prison.

(Andee's Literal Words)
Week 1, November 12, 2013
Hola Mi Familia!  

I can not believe that I have already been here almost one week!  Time flies by so fast yet so slow.  Every hour is a year but every day is only an hour.  Does that make sense?  Thursday was a lot of orientation stuff and just getting the feel of the CCM.  (MTC means missionary training center, but in spanish the initials are CCM.  And pronounced ce ce eme.)  So I love the CCM!  I feel really at home here and know that this is where I belong.  The campus is so beautiful.  It is so green and all of the houses are different colors.  Then right outside the gates it is like an ocean of houses stacked on top of one another.  What a culture shock.  The first day they spoke English for us, but after that it has been mostly spanish.  But still not as much as I expected.  But I love hearing Spanish everywhere around here.  I love saying Hola or Buenos Dias, or even being called Hermana.  
  On day two they seriously threw us to the curb and gave us an investigator that only knew spanish!  His name is Juan Carlos Ramirez.  Our first lesson was basically a trainwreck.  lets just say there were a lot of awkward pauses and nervous laughs.  But the next day(we teach investigators almost every day)  went so much better!  Surprisingly better actually.  I was able to pull sentences and words out of nowhere and after I was like "whoa, where the mexicó did that come from?!"  The gift of tongues truly does reside here.  I have only been here 6 days and already I can understand quite a bit and am able to come up with sentences and speak muy pequito.  
  But that doesnt mean that things are easy here.  We spend 14 hours a day just running around, studying, and hitting our heads against the wall.  At times it is easy to get discouraged.  After our first lesson Hermana McRae and I were just not feeling it.  It almost felt hopeless and we could not focus the rest of the day.  If you let any inch of doubt come in your mind then that is when Satan takes over.  He himself has no power.  It is only us who lets him in willingly so he can work his magic.  But ever since then we have been staying positive and know it has only been a week.  
  All of the missionaries who are on their 4th week seem so old and mature haha.  Even though they are the same age as us.  And their Spanish seems so much more advanced then ours.  They give us a lot of hope for the future.  
  Everyone here is so so nice.  I can honestly say I have not heard one negative thing coming from any Hermana or Eldér.  It really is just a bubble of peace and happiness here.  I love how much we pray.  We pray all the time.  Morning, every meal, before study time, during lessons, before teaching, night.  And a lot of the time it is with my companion.  I can even pray in Spanish now.  At times it is hard to come up with tangible things and I just thing, please forgive me God if I am saying any bad words haha.  But I am excited to be fluent.  I only wish I could roll my Rs so I wont sound like a Gringo.  
  I love Hermana McRae.  Our personalities are actually very similar but she is definitely a little louder and more outgoing then me.  But you would be surprised about some of the things that I do here haha.  There is this game called Falling Dinosaurs.  You basically spin in a circle for what seems like forever then you all race.  The first time I played Hermana Fisí-ahi ran into me and I got thrown into a wall!  haha it is hilarious and we do it if we are tired and need energy.   also love my District.  All of the Eldérs are a blast and I especially love Hermana Moser and Hermana Heaton.  They are the other sisters in our district.  We spend almost all of our time with our district and everyone says we will get very close.  We have played a lot of volleyball which is fun.  Sometimes we get a little too into it when we are not supposed to be competitive haha.  
   The food here isnt too bad.  Actually sometimes it is super good.  But there are a lot of weird combinations.  It can be scary.  But there is always a Nutella bar! haha The money the church must spend to go through so many jars of Nutella each day.  So far we have only had one Nutella sandwich and one bowl of cereal with it. (Try putting a spoonful of Nutella in some frosted flakes-best thing ever)  All we do is sit around and then only get and hour a day of exercise, so we definintly have to limit ourselves.  
  Today we went to the temple.  The Mexico city temple is so beautiful!  It seems so huge and I loved going.  Our first time through we can do it in english but the rest of the time has to be in spanish.  And we only go ever other week.  But I loved it.  Even though the bus ride there was terrifying!  People here are amazing drivers.  They have to be to tailgate, brake, and swerve the way they do without getting in constant accidents.  I tailgate so I would probably fit in perfectly here haha!  Plus on the way back to the CCM we actually hit a car.  No joke.  But no one stopped so I guess it is actually a regular occurance.
  I love the spirit that is constantly here.  I especially love the hymns in spanish.  They are so beautiful.  You all should learn some, it is worth it.  
Please forgive me for any grammar errors.  The keyboard is different and I do not have the time to go back and fix things.  We only get a little while.  But I am sending out letters today with more stories and more detail.  So feel free to post them all on the blog.  Tell everyone I love them so much and miss them.  I am so grateful for everyones support!

-Love, Hermana Adair

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November 7, 2013 (Day 1)

 Alright, this morning I have a few more minutes to write.  We got in so late last night and it was hard to wake up so early this morning.  It seemed to take forever to wait for my bus, and get back to the MTC.  But the ride there was cool.  Very neat to see the city and the lifestyle here.  I even got to see the Temple here at night, it was so beautiful.  My companion is Hermana Mcrae from Mesa, AZ; and it turns out that she knows some of our family down in the valley.  What a small world!  Plus she is going to the Denver South mission as well, very cool.  I have my nametag! I will attach a picture as soon as I have more time. 
My p-days will be on Tuesdays.  So expect an email sometime then every week.  I will also be going to the temple every week on Tuesday.  Which I am excited for.   And please send me a list of emails for family and friends that want to be on my forwarding list.  And if you could have grandma send me a email with the notes she took from my blessing.  I really want to read over them and remember the blessings in store for me. 
Your Dennys story was funny.  I can´t believe you were all hysterical, you know how I feel about that.  But the sisters are all so nice here and I cant wait to start my lessons and begin really learning spanish. 
Oh and I saw all the cards and notes in my bag.  Thank you.  I havent had time to read them yet but cant wait.  And these keyboards are weird, so dont judge me too harshly for any grammatical errors. 
Madee, Thanks for your email.  It really meant a lot.

Love you all.  Thanks for supporting me.
November 6, 2013

Hola Mi Familia!
  I Made it safely to the MTC.  It was a long day and I was alone the entire time.  I expected to meet up with some missionaries at SLC but it didnt happen.  And the time between my flights was super short, I had to almost run every time to make my flight.  And my gate got changed to Mexico so I had to run back a forth a few times.  But I feel completely at home here and know this is where I am supposed to be.  I already have such a strong love for the culture from just being here a few hours.  Love you all.  Make sure to forward this to all family!
-Hermana Adair

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The End.

  This is it.  The day where my life ends yet also begins anew.  I have finished packing up the 19 years of dreams and collections that once lay in my room.  My suitcases are filled to the brim, and my nerves are skyrocketing.  Tomorrow I officially leave for my mission.
   A million things are going through my mind.  Am I really prepared for this?  Will I even understand one word anyone is saying at the MTC?  Will I freeze in Denver?
  Yet as I have these thoughts, an overwhelming feeling of peace comes over me.  I am doing what God wants, and as long as I have Faith, everything will be fine.  I am so grateful for the knowledge of a Heavenly Father who I can put my trust in.
   I am also so so so so so EXCITED to go!  I am ready for a new adventure!  I am ready to serve God's children and meet so many amazing people!  I can't wait to have companions(i'm hoping I will quickly learn to not go insane with one.)  And I can't wait to learn the spanish language.
   I just want to say how thankful I am for all of my friends and family who have supported me over the years.  You all have truly made a difference in my life.
  From now on my mom will updating this blog by posting all of my letters.  Feel free to email me anytime!

Thanks! See you in 18 months!
      Hermana Adair!

The Call

   I waited over 3 weeks for my call to arrive in the mail.  It was agony!  But can I say, it arrived at the perfect moment.
   It's pretty common knowledge that most mission calls come in the mail on a Thursday.  So by Thursday July 25th, I was crossing my fingers, rubbing a rabbbits foot, and praying very hard that my call would come in the mail.  Because my Dad was leaving for Africa that very night for over 10 days!  And no way would I be able to await his return to open my call.  But the heavens shown down on me and that white envelop came.  It was the kids and Madee who actually let me know that it had arrived-their screams as they ran back to the house from the mailbox probably could have been heard across the country.  I am pretty sure they gave our poor mail lady a heart attack!
   So that night, about 30 minutes before my dad boarded a plane for Africa, I sat down and began ripping open the paper.  This is when the nerves began to set in.  This tiny piece of paper in my hand would determine the next year and a half of my life.  Could this truly be happening so fast!
   I slowly began reading my call,  and I will be serving in the Colorado Denver South Mission!  And not only that, I will teach in the Spanish language and report to the Mexico City MTC!!  How freakin' cool!  
   But I won't lie, when my eyes first took in the word Colorado, they cringed just a little bit inside haha.  I was just going right next door.  But as soon as I said the words out loud I was so overcome by the spirit.  Never, in my entire 19 years, have I ever had a confirmation that strong and true.  There was no doubt in my mind that this was my mission.  Meant just for me.  And I know that this is where God wants and needs me to be.  
   So people of Colorado, particularly the hispanic part, be ready.  Because Hermana Adair is on her way. 

Age Change

  Hey Everyone, this is Andee!  A little over 6 months ago I made the decision to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In the October 2012 General Conference President Monson made the announcement that the age for young women to serve a mission would be lowered to 19.  During the time, I was in Colorado hunting with my dad and didn't hear the news.  But believe me, I found out pretty soon.  Almost all of my aunts and friends had sent me "over-enthusiastic" messages about how excited they all were.  And all I could think was "crap, this screws up my 2- year plan"!  I mean, I already knew what I wanted to do in the next few years and now the First Presidency was making me think about a mission way before I thought I would ever have to!  How dare they!
   So I prayed to my Heavenly Father and received the answer that a mission was what I should do with my life.  Actually, it was what I NEEDED for my salvation!  How scary is that!!  So, after thinking and praying about it I realised what a huge blessing the age change truly was, I would have never gone on a mission at the age of 21!
  But I am so thankful for the opportunity to go on a mission!  And I know it is what I am meant to do in this lifetime.  And I am so excited to serve God and his children!!