Thursday, March 21, 2013

The One That Started It All

Hola Familia y Amigos!

I cannot believe I am actually sitting in el CCM writing you an email. I guess this means I am a missionary! I guess I should begin by saying that Wed. - Sun. = the longest days of my entire life.  A lot of girls had a really difficult time adjusting, but I think I made the transition pretty well . . . so far at least, haha.  The MTC is a crazy place! You have a schedule that you follow every single day to the T.  Mine is as follows:

6:30     Wake Up
7:20     Breakfast
7:50     Personal Study
8:50     Teaching Resources
11        Comp Study
12        Lunch
12:45   Language Study
2          Class
5          Dinner
6          Some other kind of study that we haven’t done that day, haha
7          Gym
8:30     Class
9          Daily Planning
9:30     Return to Residency
10:30   Lights Out 

It fluctuates a little depending on what day it is. For example, on Tuesday we have devotionals and we get some personal time in the morning.  On Sunday, of course, we have church, and Thursday is PDAY [Preparation Day – shopping, laundry, etc.]

Seriously you guys, this is the happiest place I´ve ever been in my life and also one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  The Spirit is STRONG here, always.  It is remarkable. However, learning a language is really hard, especially at the pace we are going. My teacher (Hermana Haws – aka the most wonderful individual I have ever met) says that we have learned more in 6 days than most college language classes learn the entire year. YUPP . . . so that is happening.

The kids in my class who took HS Spanish say they have already learned more than all 4 years of HS Spanish. I am, without a doubt, the slowest learner in my class.  I speak broken Spanish, but I have been here for a week people! And, I have learned SOOO much!  We no longer pray, teach, or testify in English.  I have the baptismal invitation and “Our Missionary Purpose” down pat. My prayers are still kinda Spanglish. For example:  “Por favor bendice mi con al bien dias manana. Estoy agradecidos por mi familia y bendice nos con salud y fuerte. Por favor bendice . . . this district con . . . unity . . .” – haha!  It goes it a little something like that.

Even though my Spanish is broken I have learned that if the Spirit is present in lessons, then the investigator will understand you. He may not understand what I am trying to say, but the Spirit does, and He carries it to his heart.  Our investigator's name is Carlos.  He is the bomb. Our investigators here are usually RM’s [Returned Missionaries] from BYU who volunteer to help out. They take on the story of someone they taught on their mission.  However, I have no idea what this guy’s real name is, but to me he is 100% Carlos.  Man, I love him.

Yesterday my companion and I challenged him to baptism and it was one of the absolute coolest experiences of my life. We had talked about how Christ was baptized and if we are to follow Christ’s example, we also need to be baptized by immersion.  He started to respond saying that he wanted to follow Christ (remember, this is in Spanish so I can only pick up like 15% of what he actually says, and then piece it together, and hope I understand) and as he was about to say that he wanted more time he paused and started to cry and said:  “My heart is ready.”   He was so overcome and so were we.  It was just perfect. So Carlos is getting baptized! YAYYYYY!!!!!!

Speaking of “We”, my companion’s name is Hermana Howard. She is awesome and we get along splendidly. She wasn’t active for most of her life, but her family is very active. She helps me with Spanish; I help her with the gospel.  It is a match made in heaven – literally, hahaha.

Thank you to everyone who has sent me letters this week:  Sister Tryon, the Thompsons, Mom, and Dale.  I think anybody that has not been on a mission may not truly understand how important it is to get letters. Please, please, PLEASE write me. I know to you guys it seems like I have been gone a week, because I have, haha, but to all of us here, we have been gone for an eternity. One week in your life = 3 years in MTC time. Seriously.  I beg of anyone reading this blog to write me a letter. And, HEY, sometimes writing letters takes a lot of time and costs money.  Here is a fancy alternative . . . You have to create a little account, but basically you write me an email, but then they print it and give it to me as a letter.  It is a miracle.  Utilize it [if you feel so inclined].

Dale:  I would love to write you back, but I do not have your address. Write me again and include your address!

Brian:  I had something to tell you . . . but I just can’t remember how to say it in English........ [Editor’s note:  This is a private joke between siblings.]

Taylor: Remember that conversation we had about baptism?  I agree with you now.

OH, QUICKLY,  before my computer logs me out. MY ZONE IS AWESOME. MY DISTRICT IS AWESOME. We have so much fun and our zone leaders are fabulous. In fact, a story . . . Luke, you will like this:  My zone leader, Elder Mellor, one night decided to eat an entire orange . . . like peel and all. There are some weird things that we do here to keep ourselves sane and relieve the stress that comes with the MTC.  Well it was pretty funny and I was teasing him about it one day and he started telling everyone that IIIIII was going to do the orange challenge! AHH . . .  Long story short, I ate an entire orange.

I LOVE THE MTC. The Church is true. This I know.  I love you guys.

Amor Siempre,
Hermana Burnham

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