Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Week three down, week four to come

so, i hope these emails are getting forwarded to the family, grandma, james and monica. i was alo wondering if you could send them to bishop perkins? but whatever you want to do. now i get to answer questions, how fun, right? for me anyway.

ok--lots of questions about the MTC, or the CCM en Español. Sleep--i get to bed before 10:30 so that i might get a full eight hours of sleep because a tired hermana is an unhappy/unChristlike hermana. I sleep on the bottom bunk in a room with 5 other girls. that means that there are five different tones and alarm clocks that go off at five to fifteen different times. my favorite is the alarm clock that starts slow and then gets faster and faster, and then when the owner hits the off button it says, as chipper as possible, "GOOD MORNING!" Mickey Mouse Style. it is not a good morning if i am not awake before that clock goes off. i don't know who owns it because if i did then i might hold a very big grudge against them. one time i was so tired in the morning, and i didn't have ample time to wake up that i drowsily walked to the bathroom. i ran into a stall to find a worker restocking the toilet paper. she apologized, i grunted and then looked for the next stall. i was so out of it. the first few nights were hard for me because i couldn't sleep so early. but now i try to go to bed as soon as possible becausei am so tired. sometimes, when my companion and i are studying together, i tell her i can't focus and could she give me a few minutes. That is when i put my head on my hand, strtegically placed so it lookes like i am reading the book of mormon, and take a cat nap. those little cat naps have saved my life and also my companion's.

there is a store here, for those of you who don't know. it is an extension of the BYU bookstore. but missionaries get a really good discount. i have learned, the hard way of course, that you don't yell out for your elders in the middle of the store because about 40-50 pairs of eyes turn to you wanting to nkow what you want. i laughed, they didn't. i mean, c'mon, that's funny.p-day is tues. it is my favorite day. i'm sad to say that. but i do have to say my close second favorite day is sunday. we get to watch movies after the fireside. and i get to take a nap-30 min. the movies are the church movies everyone has seen, but when a bunch of missionaries never get to watch anything on a big screen, we feel like it is a saturday night out in a theater with all of our friends. it is funny though, because when the subtlest and sweetest little peck of a kiss comes on the screen you hear the hooting and whistling of a couple of hundred elders. any entertainment is good entertainment. i laugh at them because it is so hilarious. the most innocent kiss seems sooooooo awkward and contreversial in this particular audience.

we do eat our food on paper plates. it is going to be sad when we go back to regular plates because it is so easy to just throw everything away in one simple toss. well, i say that as if i throw my own stuff away. usually our elders take our trays and open our doors. i have gotten so spoiled that when i see an elder within 20 feet of me and they don't make an effort to open my door, i get a little angry. com'on, be a gentleman!

on to teachers--most districts have two teachers because the day is divided into three 4 hour segments. one is Missionary Directed Time (MDT) and two are lead by a teacher. my district, which consists of 4 elders and 4 hermanas, has had 12 teachers in total. it is really frustrating because i feel really lost when it comes to some parts of the grammar but it doesn't matter because tomorrow we are going to have a new teacher. yesterday i broke down though. my district wanted to learn subjunctive but i don't even understand pronouns quite yet. oh well. onward and upward.

ok-spiritual thought. this last week was Mission President's week. the cafeteria is cut in half so that they can decorate and beautify the other half for the presidents. they also get catered food (we saw a chocolate bowl full of vanilla mousse and lots of fresh strawberries once in the garbage and i know that was not one of our options). we also couldn't use some of the buidlings. it was quite inconvenient. but, all of the 12 and the first presidency were here. one day, sunday, we had all of them except president packer here. we were taught from elder holland. on sunday my companion and i were randomly sitting by the door where the prophet enters and exits. we waited because hermana barfoot wanted to see the prophet--she never had, but we were going to be late to lunch (the best meal of the week because there is an ice-cream sundae bar). i had a thought to promise her that if we were obedient she would see the prophet. i kept it to myself--who am i to make such a promise? The thought came to me three or four more times--promise hermana barfoot. but i didn't. as we started to walk to our residence hal;l, a few hours later an elder said that if we wanted to see the prophet we should go up a hallway to our right. we went, and there we saw the prophet and president eyring. i should've made that promise. it taught me that i can, as a missionary, and under the direction of the spirit, promise things. that will be so important when dealing with my investigators. i can promise you that if you do this, if you make this sacrifice, you will see blessings.

it was cool to see the prophet. it reminded me of the savior in america where the people came and touched his wounds and then they told others about their experiences. we missionaries got to see the prophet, and then we will go all over the world and testify of his exsitance and reality.

i'm out of time. too bad, i have some good stories about:
> foursquare,
> my elders,
> the gym,
> new companionships
> and more
but for now i must go and be obedient.
hermana barros

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Week Two

So, i am here again writting another letter on the end of the second week. and, the shift key doesn't work, so i am not being blasphemous, just unable to capitalize or exclimate ( i have also lost the small ability i once had to spell. i mean spanish is amazing--phoenetics. english just tries to make everything difficult, like an engglish major). i know it is probably bad to count down the weeks, but everyone at the ccm does it. i mean, we all count down to el diá del campo de misional. everytime we watch or hear something inspirational or motivational we all get really excited to go out and teach the gospel in our areas. but we all have to wait--its like doctrine and covenants 11:21--obtain my word then preach it. this is always apparent when we have to teach in the trc. we do good, but we need more practice. it is good to know that you get a trainer out in the field--not two greenies thrown together to figure it out on their own.
so, yes, we taugh in the trc with volunteers who pretend to be investigators. we did okay. then we taught again that night (this was saturday). we keep being taught to give the conditional baptisimal commitment but it feels so hard to get to after the first lesson. well, yesterday, my companions and i did it. we commited our "investigadores" to baptism. it is not a firm commitment, but one in which we ask if what they read is true and they know that the church is true, would they be baptised. of course the elders that we were teaching said yes, so it felt a little fake, but we still got really excited. i mean, it was our first commitment to baptism, even if it was fake. and i have decided that i don't mind the play-acting. the spirit is so strong no matter the activity level of our "investigadores". as missionaries we are called to invite all to come to christ, so that means everyone, including the fake investigators.
the spirit is so strong i sometimes forget that it is here because it is a constant feeling. but whenever we teach the spirit just bam hits you square in your chest and testifies that what we are saying is true. it is also fun to be the "investigator". apparently we are really hard to tech--we ask too many hard questions and are too hard hearted. but i have decided that if a missionary invites the spirit from the beginning and teaches with respect, the spirit testifies and we become easier to teach. without the spirit we are nothing as missionaries. we are the preachers the spirit is the teacher. when we testify the spirit is able to peirce their hearts. that is one of the most important thing i have been taught this week. i also have been thinking about christ and his ability to love all. how does he do it? i have been thinking about that a lot and i have found myself praying, in a mixed version of english and spanish, that i might be able to have a ,little bit of that love so that i might be able to be used as an instrument in his hands. love is one of the quickest ways to invite the spirit.
this week is mission president week, so i should run into some pretty cool general authorities. but it is bad because we don't get to use all the gym. gym time is a happy time because it is out of our little prison cell of a classroom. also, the temple is closed for the next two weeks--p-days are very empty, which means nap time (reposar?)
se amo. please write back. my district doesn't believe you actually exsist.
hermana barros

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 16

hey y'all, Hermana barros here!
I don't know where to star, especially since i already began a written letter. I do want to tell you that i wish i had more mail. but i am so happy. The first day was ROUGH! i didn't like it one bit and i wished i could go home, but i thought that i had could not come home. the second day was hard, along with the third. by the fourth day, the days seemed a lot shorter and funner. now it feels like i wake up and go to sleep (in my bed) n about 3 hours. Side note--this keyboard stins, so if there are misspellings, i feel like my time would be better spent writing than editing-pardon all the mistakes. I've decided to bear my testimony of the things i have learned throughout the first week at the MTC.
1. i know that knee-highs are true. Nylons are the epitome of confinement and in an environment where you go from classroom to a meal, to a classroom, to a meal, to a classroom and then one more meal, confinement is the last thing you want. my companion let me have one of her pairs, so i was wondering if someone could send me a whole bunch. they are important for my attention span.
2. i know that companions are important. those of you who read my first letter know that i started out as a solo sister. i now have two companions--hma. Hammar and Hma. Barfoot. Hammar is from Rgby, ID going to Houston South. Barfoot is fom CO going to Argentina. they are sweet and so lovely. We have one little problem though, we make each other laugh way too much. Here at the MTC i find that i can sit for LOOOOng periods of time without feeling it until we get out our himnarios and sing a song. i have a problem when singing hymns--i sing the wrong words/verse on accident. that problem hasn't gotten better in espanol and the sisters hear my every mistake. We laugh uncontrollably, we all end up crynig, the elders just look at us like we are stupid. it is sad because both sisters laugh silently and i laugh like...a phillips=LOUD. I look like the irreverent sister. But it is so good for my soul to get a good bit f laughter in.
3. I know that 19 year old boys arecalled of God and that He helps them become the missionaries that they need to be. I love my district so much. Thet are like my little brothers--I love them! they make me laugh! one, elder Ball, who is also going to Ft. Lauderdale, and i fight on a daily basis, as friends though. i am so grateful for him and that i will get to see him throughout my mission. HIs growth and progression is going to be fun to watch. the elders always have something to say whcih crcks me up. One once wrote backwards so that we could read what he was writing on the chalkboard. He commented that his hand hurt doing that. Hs companion told him to stop then, quite simply. the situation was hilarious, though as i write it it sounds dull. Perhaps after the 10th hour of class, anything is funny. las Hermanas y yo laughed and laughed and nuestro maestro got kind of mad. Well, he is always mad because he is getting married on SAT. Poor guy comes in every day and looks at us and reems into us if we're late. Or he tells us how his day has gone wrong. i think after his wedding, he will be a lot happier--i hope. But, you all know how engagements are--HARD!
4.I know that i have been called of GOd. I have never known something so much in all of my life. I know this church is true. i knwo that Jose smith vio una columna de luz y dos personajes cuyo fulgor y gloria no admiten descripcion. Yo se que dios nos ama y nuestros sus hijos. Yo se que jesucristo es mi salvidor y el salvidor de todo el mundo. Yo se la iglesia de jseucristo es verdadero y nuestro un profeta del mundo y su recibe reveacion para nosotros. ( that was all from the heart--no copying!)
5. i love you and i know that la familia fue establecio a dios for the happiness of his children. I am grateful for yall and for your patince ni getting me here. i know i am supposed to be here and i am so happy!
6--i also know that i need to switch my lads and i am running out of time. gotta go. love ya.

i'll write more in my letter.
hma barros