Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Week #1 - I am so Happy!


Funny Story: On my way here, I met an Elder named, Elder Quist. We were on the same flight and when he overheard me say I was going to Mexico he started talking to me. We became fast friends and walked onto our flight to Mexico together. (I understand now this was seriously against the rules.....I repented)The flight attendant talked to him as he walked on the plane and commented on his tie and said he looked really sharp, like he was going to a wedding. The steward then turned to me and asked "Is this the bride?" I started laughing and assured him that no we were not getting married as Elder Quist began stuttering the same. Elder Quist turned BEET RED and I busted up laughing.

I seriously love being a missionary and being at the CCM. It's beautiful and so full of life. My companion is Hermana Simmons. She is also going to Fort Lauderdale and is from Idaho! Basically, we are twins. She runs for Utah State so we joke about how we secretly hate each other since I went to BYU, but I actually I ADORE her. We laugh constantly, work extremely hard constantly and speak in broken Spanish (almost) constantly. If anything, we are setting the pace together  for our missions right now and I LOVE it. Day 2 and we already had a list of goals. We kneel every night together to pray in Spanish and have a "team building session". Each of us points out something the other did well today just to keep ourselves from going crazy and to grow closer.

Hermana S. and I mesh so well.  On our 2nd day, we were talking with an investigator as a large group of missionaries and we began playing off one another like a legit companionship. She started; I emphasized; she took it further; and next thing we know we have taught a sincerely amazing principle to someone we barely know. Pretty stinkin awesome. We had our 3rd lesson with an investigator, we are DEFINITELY his favorites and we barely used any notes for Spanish. We explained the ENTIRE plan of Salvation with almost no notes. We walked out on cloud nine. Her Spanish is much better than mine but I can understand more than speak it because all Spanish leaves me and I end up speaking in French....with a Spanish accent. Yep. I speak Franglish. But the gift of tongues is so real. People,  I just want to testify that the Lord knows His missionaries so completely. He knows our insecurities and how to push us to the very edge until we begin to change. I love Him!
Me and Hermana Simmons

My District is awesome. We have 8 Elders and 4 Sisters. I am not going to lie to you....I lose patience on more than one occasion - a lot of immaturity - but they do have their moments of greatness that HIGHLY out weigh everything else. I came on the mission focused upon being a "Bringin em Heaven" kind of Sister. In the past week I have grown to love them so completely...they are like my little brothers....just 10x more obnoxious (Never thought I'd say that Eli, Jameson and Brian!) An example is when we were getting to know each other, we were told to tell about our hobbies. One of the Elders told us that before the mission he used to date a lot. We all busted up laughing and started teasing him saying "Girls were your HOBBY?!", etc. Its become the running joke of our District as he is now the District Leader. An Elder Cutler. Stellar man with real promise as a missionary of God.
My District

Okay, the food is...AMAZING. The meat is questionable, sometimes, as to its origins but for the most part everything is mildly Americanized-Mexican food. My companion laughs at me because I eat basically the same thing everyday. Mexican meat, little bit of refried bean (homemade, mmmm) with a heap of lettuce on top and fruit on the side. The salsa is heavenly, my companion tells me the desserts are amazing and the fruit is different. I have eaten guava, mangoes, little baby bananas, nectarines, peaches, apples, weird pear apple things, blackberries and other mouthwatering delicacies. I leave el Commodore with an extremely full tummy that is starving with 3 hours. Just the way I like it :) We work out by playing volleyball and doing laps, abs or push ups when our team is off or basketball or running. Yep, this Hermana is learning how to play basketball. My comp is stellar at it and beat almost 20 Elders...at bump our 2nd day here. THIS GIRL IS ON FIRE!

Love you all (a lot) but this is where I am supposed to be. We call it our little bubble of heaven, with barb wire fence everywhere around our 15 ft wall, ambulances and "fireworks" all through the night...but I couldn't be happier. I love it here!! I testify with ALL my heart that the power of prayer is real and truly strengthening. If I have you guys praying for me, I know I will be fine :)

I'm also learning SO much about myself. Guess what? I cant handle being around people 24/7. I discovered that I need to take breaks of not talking constantly and closing my eyes just to breathe so I can get a little bit of peace to rejuvenate then I'm on my way, working harder than ever again. Hermana Simmons and I work very hard - We level each other out very well. She is pretty emotional and I'm the logical reasoner. Our District has nicknamed us "The Power Couple".  I think I will keep that nickname :)

The Lord has worked through me to say some SERIOUSLY inspirational things that could not have come through just me. One includes "You cannot find yourself as a missionary until you lose yourself through those you serve". I can testify that the Savior knows me and my struggles and that He places people in our lives that could not have a more strengthening effect. Missions are seriously HARD and kick you in the face over and over but I love it here regardless. There are mountains everywhere, trees everywhere and beautiful birds. Nature is my peace and trees keep me centered. I don't know why but it does. There is an ENTIRE grove of trees here that you can just go walk around in. My comp and I have gone in there to pray and I feel so loved and strengthened each time. The Lord is in your lives, just look for Him. They sang "Come Thou Fount" in Spanish on Sunday and I was so touched with thoughts of all of you. Shout out to Todd (this song reminds me mostly of you), I love you so much. You all have always been an example to me of diligence and strength. I look to you at my hardest times for what I should act like and how I should be. You are AMAZING and I'm praying for you guys!

Pero quizas lo mas importante es que pueden saber por ustedes mismos que todo esto es verdad. If it's true, what else matters?

I love you all!! See you next week.

Hermana Lake

P.S. Hillary, Eden, Mom and Dad......, I have so much respect for you. I'm a WEEK in and it is SO HARD. Haven't cried yet though :)The Lord slams you into the ground but He always builds you back up.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hermana Lake and Sister Stewart - best of friends at the Boise Temple

Mom, Aunt Heidi, Ashley, and Karis

At the Boise Airport, saying goodbye!

... And she is off!  Nos vemos, Hermana Lake!