Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I Literally Live in a Cloud!

So guess what? I pretty much live in a cloud! I looked out the window this morning and what did I see? Fog! It is foggy here all the time. So I thought "Wouldn't it be cool to tell my family that I live in a cloud?" and then I thought it sounded kind of dreary, but it's not. You know how when you're little you picture clouds to be all bouncy and fluffy like cotton balls? Jokes... they really aren't. But the fog is really pretty in its own way. Hermana W and I think that we don't have to drink as much water in a day because we suck it in through our pores. Science, you know?

It was so great to skype my family at Christmas! I think the thing that surprised me the most was how normal everyone looked. But I'm pretty sure that in 5 months when I get to skype again Kloie will have grown like 6 inches and Zach will have a full-fledged beard. :)

We got to teach our favorite family again this week! Oh, I love them. They have a 2 year old who is basically a tornado. He loves to be all over everything. They try to control him, but that's just his personality. So it really hard to keep everyone focused and the Spirit present, but we try to roll with it and make sure we're focusing on them and not just on teaching the lesson. We taught about prophets and the Restoration and it went awesome! Carlos said that when he reads the Book of Mormon and prays and feels the Holy Ghost telling him it is true then he will be baptized!! A lot of people really shy away from baptism or even the invitation, so that was super exciting. So please pray for Carlos' family. They go through a lot.
On Saturday we went on a mini-exchange with some other Spanish sisters. We were tracting an apartment  complex. Through a weird chain of events, we were standing in front of a door when a little girl knocked on the door to pass out a flyer for a baptist church. So we were standing behind her, kind of like waiting our turn to talk about religion. Haha. :) I was talking to some kids who spoke Spanish that were playing by the door, and my temporary companion started talking to the lady in the apartment. When I turned back to my companion and the lady, it was like I walked into a wall of the Spirit. Like stepping into Narnia or something. This bubble of good feelings. My companion was testifying about how Christ loves each of us and knows us by name. It was such a sweet moment and the lady said we could come back and teach her more! We asked her named and--get this--she said 'Nefi.' Which is how you say Nephi in Spanish. We both kind of just stared at her and were like "...Nefi?" And she said "Yeah, it's a nickname for Neftali". It was so funny! Talk about being prepared! She'll love the Book of Mormon. ;)
So that exchange day, guess how many contacts we got? (Contacts are basically when you meet someone, share a restored truth, and invite them to do something) 46. 46! Tracting and street contacting are really not the most effective way to do missionary work at all, but still, it was awesome. We met some really cool people. While we were walking, we heard someone say "Sisters!" a man got out of his car, said he was a member, and that he wanted to pay for our dinner. It was awesome! Tender mercy.
So we live right in the middle of the city of Everett. Like downtown. I've never felt in danger, but on Saturday I did see a dirty gun. And a man thought we were prostitutes. Which I thought was super funny. We are wearing about 5000 layers of clothes and minimal makeup, which obviously scream prostitute. Haha. :)
We taught a lesson to a man from Yemen! I love meeting people from all over the world.
I learned how to make Mexican chicken soup! It's basically like any chicken noodle soup but without the noodles. Also, you have to start with a whole chicken. Don't bother getting boneless.
Did I tell you about the "No tenedor" rule? Our district leader made a rule that we are not to use forks if there are tortillas on the table. It makes for pretty funny meals. Good thing I love tortillas!
I'm not getting transferred, thank goodness! I really like this area and I want to stay here. Plus we are really spoiled that we live in the city where there are Latinos to teach.

ALSO. I have used my Russian like 5 times in the past week! How cool is that? There is this community of Ukrainians that live in Washington! They think it is so cute when I try to say hello and good morning, good day, and good night. They are usually like 50 times nicer than the Ukrainians that were actually in Ukraine were to me. They're so adorable. I wish I remembered more than "Stop the bus!" and "Mom is at home."
The new year is a perfect time to increase our faith! That's something Hermana W and I have really trying to focus on lately. Taking a few steps into the darkness and trusting that light will illuminate our path. Miracles will come when we pray for them.
I love you all so much!
Love,
Hermana Pellegrini




Friday, December 20, 2013

Maria Para Siempre

Hola, mi familia!

I was happy to read all your letters! 

Okay so last week we went to Boeing! It is where they make airplanes. It is the largest building volume-wise in the world! Super, super huge. I pass it like every day. We couldn't take pictures though. :( But it was fun! It reawakened my dream to be a tour guide. 

So we had a district blitz on Tuesday. That is when a whole district (9 of us) work in one area. And it was in ours! It was AWESOME!!! We found 4 new investigators that day. It was so much fun! The last house my group went to was super weird. I can't really explain it.... sometimes it is just so surprising to see the way that people live!

So once a week we have to weekly plan. That takes a couple hours and we always get distracted. But if we do it at a fast food place, then we don't get distracted! So we went to a place called Ivar's. It is a Washington-based seafood place and it was good! I got clam chowder in a bread bowl, obviously. It was pretty good, but not awesome awesome. We sat there for hours and when we left we smelled like fish. Haha. 

Soooooo there is this funny thing called "being in a Spanish branch". I don't know if I mentioned this, but we have a choir. It is so. funny. Okay, I can't sing, right? Like, I do, but I'm not noticeably good. Well, I'm one of the best in the choir. That gives you an idea of what this thing is like. Sometimes..... Mexican women are tone deaf. And they like to argue in rapid-spanish about what they think we should do in a song. It is so. funny. There is this one hermana who is like 65 years old. We were supposed to wear red and black to perform, and someone didn't. So this old hermana was like "Hermana so-and-so wants to sing with us, but she can't. She isn't wearing red." And it was so funny! It was like Mean Girls: Latino Edition. "You can't sit with us! On Wednesdays we wear pink." Bahaha.

So some members took us out for asian food this week. The hermana told us a little about her life... she always looks so calm and content, but they things she has gone through! It's so sad! You really can never tell what people are going through. Everyone has trials. So we can't use our trials or personal problems as an excuse to lead less-than-great lives. Because we all have to fight through something.

We're teaching a woman who is basically a Jehovah's Witness. Suffice to say that every lesson is filled with lots of questions. We try to keep the Spirit!

Okay so here is why I named this email what I did:
On Saturday we visited a recent convert and his family. They have this tiny little apartment that was super super messy. They wouldn't let us in until they cleaned it a little bit. :) We taught the kids the Christmas story. And guess who was Mary?! Me! My companions knew I am always Mary at home and so they wanted me to continue the tradition. I will attach the picture. It was pretty funny! The youngest son, JoJo, didn't want to be anything except for a chicken. He was a really, really good chicken. But he needed to be a Wise Man, so we told him that a wise man was a king. And he said "I am king of the chickens!" So the king of the chickens brought baby Jesus a gift. So cute!


There were 3 baptisms in the branch on Saturday! That was great. Afterward the lady invited us over to her house for a fiesta and it was SO fun! Mexican food, salsa, seven of us missionaries, and a bunch of people from the branch. All in this apartment. So, so much fun.

1. So you killed off Sister Jarimillo this week... how did that go? 
It is actually this week. Tomorrow. I can't talk about it or I will start crying! She is the BESTTTT.

3. Any fantastic insights from Preach My Gospel lately?
Here is a really easy way to work on charity: Just never allow yourself to say something not nice about someone. Not even if it is true. Take some advice from Thumper. "If you can't say something nice..." Just don't say it!

4.What would you advise we study spiritually over this holiday break to stay in the spirit of Christmas?
Oh man... I've only been out 2 months! I'm not a spiritual sage yet! Personally, I'm not a big fan of big, marvelous Christmas hymns or programs. Christ is my best friend and my brother. I think it is always nice to keep the Christmas spirit by just remembering all the time he as helped you. Write them out if you haven't. Write how you felt when you felt his love.

5. What is the best thing you have learned about people so far? 
These are hard questions! Probably that a lot of people are worried about us and want us to be safe. Even if they aren't interested, they always tell us to be careful. Being women, and all. They are afraid we'll get hurt. It always makes me grateful when people express a concern for us.

I love you a lot! See y'all next week!!!

Love,
Hermana Pellegrini

P.S. I just remembered a story!
So Hermana Jarimillo is leaving, right? So she wanted to visit some less actives that used to be in her area. (They split our area the day I came- we were whitewashing, basically). So we were supposed to text our District Leader that we were going onto Casino Road. We forgot. So we're all the door of this apartment and Hermana J goes "We forgot to text Elder Crowley! We'll text him after this." So we go in and we're talking. And then we hear a knock at the door. Elder Crowley's signature knock. And we all freeze. Of ALL the people he visits, he happens to be on exchanges on Casino Road THAT day and at THAT time. So we're like whispering to this member to not let him in. This is what happens when you aren't obedient, people!!!! Don't do it because you WILL be caught sooner or later!!!!! Haha anyway we ended up telling him and he just laughed. It turned out okay. But lesson. learned. :)

I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You (But not really)

This week I made a list of things to tell you so I wouldn't forget!

So the highlight of this week for me was teaching a lesson with some people named Carlos y Claudia. We said the prayer, and then I looked at Claudia and she was crying. I asked what was wrong and she said that Carlos' brother had just passed away from cancer that very day! So sad. We spend the next hour comforting and sharing scriptures that would help their family. I was just so grateful that we got to be there for them the very day they needed an extra dose of Christ's love for them. I really felt like we were fulfilling our duty to bind up the brokenhearted. I got to be Heavenly Father's hands for a little bit. :)

The other day we were walking around and we met a lady named Kim! She was really nice, but really shy. When we were done talking to her, I gave her a sincere compliment. She looked at me and said "That was the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. Thank you." I remembered that something I LOVE to do is give sincere compliments. It makes people so happy! It's such a simple way to show Christ's love for them and I really mean what I say. So I think I am going to do that more. Even when people don't accept our message, I know that it makes their hearts softer to the Spirit and God's messengers when were a purely kind.

Tender Mercy: Wednesday was really hard. I was just really, really down. I didn't think I would get a letter, but I ached for one so badly! And then I did!!! It was from Coray. :) Basically he was saying that he's not writing anyone but his family and Reese now because he is a Zone Leader. But it was really nice and I was SO happy to hear from him! I am SO grateful that Heavenly Father knows me. Personally. Knows what I need (which is different from what I want, although he knows that too) and knows when to give it. I was just bursting with happiness after that.

Something good that I did this week is that I made a list of things that will still be there when I get home. Basically, everything will be. Except for my friends. And no matter what I do, I can't change that. It makes me sad, but that's life. But the list was comforting to make because then I didn't have to worry about silly things.

I watched the Christmas Devotional in Spanish yesterday! SO good! Usually I fall asleep in the devotional. But it was like seeing home! I was so happy! I loved seeing our favorite choir people, especially Mrs. Bird and that guy that makes the really funny face when he sings. It made me think of all of you. :) Anyway, I could feel the Spirit SO strong and it made me so happy! I was reminded that I am here to spread Christ's love. Because I want everyone to feel cozy and joyful in their hearts like I do when I come unto Christ. :)

Okay, so being on a mission you kind of get to see all the places where you can improve in your life. And as I'm getting better, I have a desire for my family to get better, too! I just want everyone to take one more step to Christ. Just one. Because He WANTS to bless you! So I want to ask you to do something. I just want you to SMILE at everyone! Living in Utah, I used to think "There is no missionary work I can do!" and yeah, missionary work is different. But one of the church's objectives is the perfecting of the saints. I'm going to be honest with you: I hate ward dynamics and drama and stuff like that. But what if we all just smiled at each other? Smile when people don't smile back. Smile at people in the grocery store. Smile at people in their cars. Just spread joy. That is missionary work! I meet people that are like "Oh yeah, I know a Mormon. They're nice." When if you're the only bit of Christ's love that people notice today? How are you going to be an example of Him? So my challenge for you is to smile at at least 5 people you don't know every day. You will be happier, I promise. :)

I love you all so much! I will respond to your individual emails now. I love you!!

Love,
Hermana Pellegrini

P.S. OH! TODAY IS MY 2 MONTH BIRTHDAY!!!! At this rate I will be 167 years old before I get home. It's been a long, LONG two months! But this is what I figure: If every month is a year in my mission life, then right now I am 2 years old. A 2 year old doesn't know anything! So it's okay I struggle. I'm a baby right now. That's comforting to me. Anyway, happy birthday to me!

Pictures: -Maria's Baptism!
-We made gingerbread houses. Ours was a classic Mexican house: 2 doormats, an old happy birthday sign, and Dish 500, and lots of stuff in the front yard. Those are what we really look for to find people to teach.
-We found this drawing in our apartment. It's so ugly that we hung it up. :)
-Kaelie-the lighthouse was on Elliot Point. I thought of Pete's Dragon and of you. :)
-A lighthouse! I FINALLY saw this ocean this morning!





Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hello Out There!

Well hello, family! What have you been up to?

Well, I guess the most memorable thing that happened this week was that a crazy lady attacked me. It was so scary! She wasn't right in the head. I'm okay, it was just pretty scary.

1. How did the investigator work out on Sunday?? 
Hahaha... well we went and visited him. He's one of those people that really really likes to debate. But the lady who lives with him (she is his landlady) is a lot more open and understanding, so we'll go back.
2. Is it awesome to be in a culturally diverse area?? 
Pretty awesome.
3. How's your Apartment??
Good! It's pretty big. It's on the second floor of a building. It's clean and warm and nice.

4. Are you exhausted when you got to bed at night?
I have never fallen asleep so fast in my life!

5. Do you feel at home there yet? 
No. That's the hardest thing for me. I don't know how I am supposed to do this for 18 months! That seems so so so impossible to me!

6. How are you doing? Emotionally, Spiritually, Physically?
Fine.
7. How's the structure without the CCM to guide you in it? (Wake up. study, etc.) 
The CCM was heaven. I miss it. But we still have a structure and study and everything, so it's not too bad.

8. What do you want us to send you for Christmas? Is there anything we could send for your companion? 
1.A Weasley sweater in maroon with a golden K on it. I will ask for this for every Christmas and birthday until it happens. :)
2. Handwritten letters with your testimonies.
3. Pictures!
4. Church CDs. Specifically The Work by Nashville Tribute Band. Hermana J will take hers when she leaves and I love it.
That's all I can think of right now! Boots would be nice. Not like big hefty boots. The boots that looks like they are from 1901 with the laces. I don't know how to explain them! Boots that look like me.

9. Tell us about Thanksgiving! Did you eat more than one dinner?
We went to dinner at a member's house. It was fun! The McNeely's. (The mom and kids are Latinos). I thought of Cedar City and seeing movies. :)

10. How's the leadership in the ward/stake you have been placed in?
I'm in a branch. I love the branch president! We don't have a mission leader, though. But the branch is nice and everyone is welcoming.

I don't even know what to say! I guess I will just talk about yesterday. I still get really sick whenever I think about going out and having to talk to people. Physically ill. Yesterday I read a talk about miracles so I just straight up asked for a miracle. I said "Heavenly Father, I'm trying. I am doing this. Please, please just change my heart. Give me the strength to do this." and then I told myself that for a miracle to take place I had to believe it would happen. So I went out excited, knowing that God would carry me. Tracting went well after that! No one was interested, and it rained, but we had a good time and most of the people were really nice!

Oh, the other day while tracting something funny happened. We talked to this college student. He is black and his name is Daniel. Basically, he talked to us for a hour and a half! He was so funny! He knows his Bible really well, and basically we asked him multiple times if he was Mormon and just pulling our legs. Because literally everything he said was like our doctrine. From the nature of the Godhead to immaculate conception. It was crazy! So I bet he'll get baptized.

We started off the week with 0 investigators and ended with 4! And a lot of potentials. So I am excited to get to teach more and stuff.

We knocked on one door and we talked to a man for a while about the Restoration. He was Hispanic and Catholic. Of course. Anyway, I testified and he asked me how I knew this was true. So I got to tell him about prayer and stuff. So even though he wasn't interested, I still strengthened my testimony!

Thank you all SO MUCH FOR YOUR EMAILS!!!! I was seriously almost crying. They are just what I needed to hear. Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!

I think I will think of more to write in my personal emails to you all.

I love you a lot!

Hermana Pellegrini

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Is This Real Life!

Hullo, Family!

So usually I will have 2 hours to write, but not today. Our Pday was switched to Thanksgiving this week, but today we have an hour to email our family AND the mission president! What is with that?! Oh well, I'll figure it out.

Okay so I am here! Funny thing.... it hasn't rained at. all. Every day is sunny! Cold, but sunny. Is this the Washington I have always heard about?! So we joke that I brought the Mexican sun with me.

I have two companions. Both are training me. Hermana Jaramillo (from Arizona--she's the only convert in her family) and Hermana Whalstrom (from Pennsylvania). Hermana J is leaving in December and I am SO SAD! I love her so much. They are both great. Guess what?! Hermana W is a Whovian AND a Nerdfighter!! How did I guess so lucky?! She was like "I like youtube...." and I was like "NO. WAY." It was pretty exciting. Let's be honest. 

So on the way here I had a great thought: We were flying in the airplane above the clouds and the sun was so beautiful and the sky so blue. Then we went through the clouds and it was gray (that was the only day I have been here that it was cloudy). So you know how we say "The sun will come out tomorrow"? Well the sun is ALWAYS out! Sometimes we just can't see it. But it is comforting to know that the sun is always just behind the clouds.

Okay so this is probably the best first weekend that any missionary can get ever. You won't believe this:
Friday-we had a branch fiesta for Thanksgiving. Including line dancing. Superb.
Saturday-ELDER BEDNAR CAME AND SPOKE TO US! For hours!!! That really happened!!! It was so, so great. It was like a question and answer and he was so funny and we learned so much.

And then.... I HAD MY FIRST BAPTISM! Okay, I feel sort of bad because I totally piggybacked off of my hermana's hard work, but yeah! Her name is Maria and she is so great. General Authority and baptism all in one day. Best. day. Everett.

Okay so I know myself pretty well. And I knew that I was going to struggle knocking doors. Lo and behold, I did. Still do a bit. My tongue freezes and my chest knots up and it's uncomfortable. But here is the trick: you just do it. Just speak. And some people are mean, but most that I met are pretty nice-ish. There is a reason why I was called to teach in the Spanish language. I love knocking in the lower income apartments because people are so. much. nicer. So much nicer. I love them so much! So far I have met this really odd gay man, people from the Marshal Islands, Chinese people, a Native American woman who insisted we watch this funeral video, arabs, Indians, people from Nepal, and Mexicans. After a lot of tracting, we finally found a new investigator yesterday! We are planning to teach him on Saturday, and I pray that happens because he's really cool and super prepared.

I love the branch! They are so warm and welcoming and I love them so much. We have 9 missionaries for our branch of about 80. We're going to see some miracles! Oh, I guess I should tell you I'm in North Everett. The city. So there are trees, but not a ridiculous amount.

On the plane I sat next to a woman who was raised a Nazarite. She had problems with hypocrisy in churches. We talked for a long time and I bore my testimony to her of the Restoration. When I did, it was like my voice wasn't coming from me. It was awesome!

I'm trying to hard to be happy and positive and hard working! Satan is so mean and is trying all the time to get in my head. He knows that I have a deep fear of rejection and he uses it on me all the time. But testifying is like ripping off a bandaid. The worry beforehand is so much worse than the actual thing. After I bear my testimony, no matter what the person says, I feel warm and happy. It is when I let my fear get the best of me that it is hard. I just have to remember that. I pray that I can become the missionary who the Lord needs me to become!

So much love,
Hermana Pellegrini

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Last One From the CMM!!

What?!?!?!
 
Ahhhhh!!!!! I'm leaving tomorrow! My flight is at 6:15 a.m., but we have to leave the CCM at 3 in the madruga! Crazy! I'm super excited though. It's been a journey for me to get the point where I am EXCITED to go. I have loved it here. So, so, so much. Like, I don't really remember a life before the CCM. I love the palm trees. I love the sun rise. I love volleyball. I love my classes and my teachers and my district and my companion and my food and the hermanas and the casa  and the green grass and absolutely everything. This is seriously my garden of Eden, and tomorrow I get put into the lone and dreary wilderness. But here is the thing: Adam and Eve were cast out EAST of Eden. Do you know what East symbolizes? It's the direction of God. So when we get cast out east of Eden, we're actually getting closer to God! How cool is that? I've always loved symbolism. Anyway, I'll adjust. And learn. We had in field orientation on Friday and it was wonderful! It was all about believing that you can baptize and how to find people and stuff like that. I got excited, but then Satan worked on me hard. I've never been homesick, but I was definitely dreading talking to people. So I've been pouring out my heart in prayer. Really trying. Reciting scriptures and doing everything. Every time I pray I feel such a peace! God will not take me somewhere he is not already waiting for me. The campo is definitely going to be hard, really really really hard, but what's so great about comfort? Comfort makes us weak. So I'm pumped to go!
 
Okay so on Saturday we had our final district volleyball game. It was THE BEST DAY OF GYM TIME EVER!!!!! Seriously, such a blast. Elder Gardner was literally on the ground rolling around in fits of laughter. It was so, so, so fun. I love my Elders! Once I got hit in the face with the volleyball. But: my team got a point off of it! They kept playing and we scored! Yay! And they asked if I wanted to sit out for a minute, but I shook it off  and kept playing.  So I figure: Being rejected will probably be a lot like getting hit in the face with a volleyball. But just shake it off. Keep going. You might get a point from it!
 
Funny story: One time like 4 weeks ago Elder Markward said: Ï just can't take the word Consuelo seriously. I just think of a Mexican maid or something. Consuelo, come here!" and the way he said it was SO FUNNY. The problem is: The word consuelo (or comfort) is in SO MANY HYMNS. Every. Single. Time. we sing a hymn that says consuelo we all DIE. We cannot stop laughing! So I decided it's a tender mercy that God Be With You in Spanish doesn't say consuelo. Or we wouldn't be able to get through it at all!
 
Not much as happened since the last time I emailed you. We're just doing our lasts of everything.
 
Oh! So we got these little packets that have our flight verification number and info on it. It is super important. Guess who lost theirs? Me. I don't even ever lose things! I was so panicked! So I prayed and someone turned it into reception! Giant crisis: averted. Tender mercies never cease?
 
Have any of you tried reading the Book of Mormon out loud and pausing after every verse? It is just SO WONDERFUL. I just read Alma 7 and it was glorious. Seriously, the Book of Mormon is so powerful. We can receive revelation every time we read it!
 
I will email next Monday! And I'll be back in the states!
 
I have loved my time here. So, so, so much. I have loved it. Thank you so much for all your support. I know that Christ lives. I know that he is our Savior. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet that restored Christ's church. I know that commandments are for our benefit. Please, never stop improving! It is so hard sometimes when we think that things are intrinsically a part of us. We think that it is simply a part of our personality and we don't need to or cannot change it. Please, never stop improving! Never stop trying to become more like Christ! Give up your weapons of war day after day and he will give you strength. I testify of this.
 
With so much love,
Hermana Pellegrini

District 15A!
Trying to take a serious team picture.... like our jerseys?!
Hermanas in mi casa

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Well Hello there!

Hola, everyone!

Oh man, I wish I had something interesting to say! Okay, so I LOVE the CCM. Like, I love it. Love. It. But it's a lot of the same thing, and it's a good thing that we eventually have to leave. I'm ready. I mean, I'm not really ready to rock the field, but I'm ready to bring my greenie obedience and optimism! My district has a thing where we say "Die a greenie." That's the plan! And I think I can, if I give my all.

Well, let's see..... we had a great devotional on Sunday about mastering our thoughts and leaving our pasts in the past. I have always been really bad at that. Curse of a great memory. And so in the moments before I fall asleep I usually daydream or something. But I have REALLY been working on it and it's been great! The way I see it, there are three types of distance: Time, distance, and thoughts. Time and distance are only as strong as you allow them to be. But once you let your thoughts create a distance, the person or thing is so, so far away. So I've let go of some things that I haven't been able to let go of before now. Or rather, I'm trying to. Tender Mercies of the mission!

So the other day we read Alma 32 outloud as a companionship. I've read that chapter more times than I can count, but I LOVED it. Seriously. We each thought of a question we wanted answered and wrote it down. It didn't have anything to do with the chapter. And then we read and shared thoughts and wrote. And all of our questions were answered! We were so inspired! I loved it and I challenge you to do that, too. I know that we have family scripture study in the morning, but I think that depth is more important that amount covered. So maybe you could try not getting through a whole chapter, but talking about each verse. Just for like 15 minutes, total. That's hard when everyone is sleepy, but I know you'll get more out of it and be more strengthened by the scriptures.

This week we taught a real investigator! He was cool. We taught him about prayer. It never ceases to baffle me how the Spanish comes easier in the lesson. I love the Spirit!!!! On the Spanish subject.... ah, I love it. I feel like it is really starting to click. I love that both of my teachers are natives so I can practice. Haha, I know once I get to the field I'll be like "What is this language?! I've never heard it in my life!!!!" But it will come. It just takes time and effort and the Spirit. So I've enjoyed practicing using conditional and subjunctive and stuff and stuff and stuff.

ALSO. You'll never believe this: I'm like a workout instructor! I lead yoga, stretching, and abs. Plus I help spot people on the bench press. Who. Am. I. I love to run on the elliptical (I haven't completely changed and I still hate running on a track) and I love to talk to the girls and to push myself. I really pray that I continue to get better throughout my mission!

Yesterday we had this weird cold day. It was so cold! Gahhh, no, Mexico! This morning it was cold too, and hence why I am wearing a coat in the temple pictures. But it's warm again, thank goodness! Today we took of our shoes so we could feel the green grass in our toes before we go to Washington.

So people have really  big trials. Elder Warton is like the happiest elder, but he has had such big challenges in his life! I asked him how he does it and he says that we have to focus our vision. Every single minute there is something amazing for us to find. We just need to look for the positive! I love that.

Also, I don't get to call you from the airport. But I will email you on Monday! I think I'm leaving on Tuesday. And then I'll talk to you at Christmas! That's not too far away. We busted out the Christmas carols yesterday.

Well.......... I'm really happy! It's really, really wonderful to feel the peace of Heavenly Father when you are where you are supposed to be. My freshman year I just felt stifled. Like I had to get in my car and drive because I was not supposed to be there. I love the peace of knowing I am supposed to be on a mission and I pray that it carries into the field. PLEASSEEEEEEEEE pray for me!!!!! I need it!

I love you all so much! I look forward to this time all p-day. I love your emails and I'm sad when I don't hear from you  If I think of anything funny I'll send another email.

1. What are you going to miss the MOST about Mexico? (Tacos don't really count this time. ;) )
The warmth and the palm trees and the cannons and the music I hear from other the wall sometimes. I LOVE Mexico and I'll be sad to leave!

2. Do you have to do chores there?? What is the most interesting chore you have had to do??
Uh..... we clean our casa! Nothing really interesting. Guess what I did for service this week? Oh, folding. Obv.

3. Have you come up with a simple homesickness remedy yet? Is there something you remind yourself or do to help you stay focused?
Ummmmmmmmm I haven't been homesick! I'm as happy as a clam. But maybe in the field I'll let you know. I just try not to focus to much on my home when it's not my email time. Just stay focused and work! It's been working really well.

4. How do you do it?! You are not even tempted to get online when you're on the computer?? Wow!! HOW?
THE SPIRIT AND THE POWER OF THIS CALLING! I know. It's truly a miracle.
5. I'm sure you've kinda mentioned this before, but where is everyone in your lil district heading to? 
Anaheim, Ecuador, Boston, Tennessee, Indiana, and Texas. We make fun of Elder Gardner because he doesn't get to go back to the states like the rest of us. But he still loves us and he shares everything his mom sends us in his packages.
6. What are the most helpful things for us at home to write you about? Every missionary is different... what do you need?
I just need to know you love me! Just getting emails from everyone is important. Just the little things.
7. If there was one thing you would change about your stay in Mexico what would it be?
Hmmmmmmmm I don't know! I have a hard time ever saying what I would change in my life because we're all works in progress. Hindsight always reveals the truth, but in the moment I try to do what I think is best. So I don't think I would change anything, because whatever I did was what I thought was necessary in the moment.
8. If there was one thing you would NEVER change about your stay in Mexico, what would it be??
Mi companera. She's the best person!!!!! We are so real with each other and I love her so, so, so much!!!!

I love you all!!!!!
Hermana Pellegrini

Also, the hidden note we found led to a volleyball with a bunch a signatures. So we signed it and it was awesome.
Our maestro tried to draw an ox. It did NOT work. It was like a blob and I thought it was super funny

I love my companera!

So there is this joke that on page 33 of the missionary handbook it says don't flirt with other missionaries. So when anyone does anything close to flirting we flash the page 33 symbol and tsk at them. 



Thursday, November 7, 2013

*Insert Clever Title Here*

 Hi all! As I write this I am shaking because I got some pretty crazy emails. Some sad, some really happy, and some plain ridiculous. Kelsie and Zach, where were yours?

Okay so I want to start with this super cool experience.
On Sunday we learned about saying specific prayers. We had a devotional where we were told about the story in Genesis about Abraham´s servant praying about finding Issac a wife. And he prays for something to happen and then that exact thing happens! It´s Genesis 24 if you want to read it. Anyway, so that was wonderful. That night, I had probably the most frustrating time I´ve had out here. I was really, really impatient. It was dumb. Most of all, I was just so disgusted with myself because I couldn´t control how stupid I was being, even thought I realized it. My heart was beating so fast and I was so worried I wouldn´t be in bed on time! So stupid, I know. Anyway, so I was finally laying in my bed (and yes, I got there on time because I blazed) and I decided to say a specific prayer. I prayed that today, November 7th, I would check my email and there would be one from Brother Anderson that would give me the strength to try to overcome my abundant weaknesses. And God loves to be predictable, so you know how this ends. I checked my email today and there was an email from Brother Anderson. It said exactly what I needed to hear, and it was sent the night that I said my specific prayer. GOD IS SO GOOD! If there is something you cannot do for yourself, ASK HIM WITH FAITH! HE WILL CARRY YOU!!! So I am so grateful for inspired messages, the Holy Ghost, prayer, and other people that listen to the Spirit. 

How cool is that?
Okay so there was another big spiritual experience that happened this week. Hma Bain and I were teaching our investigator, Christian. Hermana Bain was super excited about the lesson and kind of just took off. Her Spanish was beautiful, but I wasn't getting a chance to speak. But I was trying to pray for her and stay supportive. We were kind of just going through the gospel of Christ and it was good, but when she turned to me to talk about the Holy Ghost, the words stuck in my throat. It was like there was a road sign inside my head saying "This is NOT what you need to say right now!"So I just turned it back to her. Threw her under the bus. I know, I'm awful. But she asked him again how he felt when he read the Book of Mormon and he said "Bien." And that's when it happened. In Spanish, I basically said "Christian, the Book of Mormon is  more than just a good thing. It is not just something we can sort of have in our lives on the side. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It is how we know that this church is true, and when we know that this church is true we know that God loves us. We know that He speaks. We know that Christ paid the price for our sins and we can be clean through the atonement. We know that baptism is crucial. Do you believe that the Book of Mormon can lead you to know all these things?"and he said yes. So I asked him to be baptized in two weeks and he said yes!!!! It was like I wasn't even talking. Ah. The Spirit is amazing and I am so grateful I get the opportunity to teach with it if I am worthy.

So one of my favorite BYU talks is Unleashing the Dormant Spirit by Elder F. Enzio Busche. There is a great part in it and I wrote it out and I stick it under my watch so I can look at it throughout the day and memorize it. It says: "Yes. I AM a disciple of Christ. I'm willing to sacrifice my own will, my habits, attitudes, and selfish desires, and endure the hurt and the pain that such reflections cause, and bring to him as a sacrifice a broken heart and a meek spirit." I am kind of obsessed with it. Are you all willing to be that disciple of Christ?

I am trying to notice how I feel the Spirit here. I think part of it is that I like to greet people! I don't avoid eye contact. I smile joyfully because there is joy in my heart! I definitely think it is a gift of the Spirit and I pray that I can retain it.

Also, I used to wonder why the scriptures say "Bridle your passions."Isn't it good to be excited about things? Yes, it is good, but it is talking about being subject to your changing moods. Sometimes it feels like we can't change our moods or like they are the most real part of us. Not so! Our will is stronger! Bridle your passions and direct your emotions for good!

1. What do you put on your tacos to make them so nummy???
Beans. Rice. Spicy salsa. The meat of the day. I don't know why they are so, so good. But seriously they are heaven. I am trying to limit my intake, actually. I only have one a day now and then I go bike/run for 20-30 minutes and then do an ab workout

2. Have other missionaries you know written you? (Kara??)
Yes, Kara writes me and I love her so much! This week I heard from Elder Garlick which was super exciting

3. Can you give us a very basic daily schedule?
All our days are basically the same, so sure!
6:30-wake up.
7:15-Breakfast
7:45-Personal Study. Focus on the investigator.
8:45-Progressing Investigator.
9:45-Language
10:45-Coaching. This is about a fundamental of teaching or whatever we need help with
11:45-Companionship Study
12:15-Lunch! Best meal!
1:15- TALL. That is studying the language on the computer. Want to know something amazing? I am not even tempted at all to use the internet when I am on the computer ever day!
2:15-Companionship Study
2:45-Language study. I read the BOM outloud in Spanish for a half an hour each day. Some of the native workers have told me that my accent is really good!
3:55- Gym. I work out or play volleyball
4:45-Shower
5:15-Plan
5:45-Dinner
6:30-Progressing investigator
7:30-Coaching
8:30-Language
9:30-Go home
10:30-Lights out.

And that's every day. I did that all from memory because I have to write it in my planner every day! But I like it. And some days we have a service project and on Tuesday we have a devotional at night. The repetition is good, but it is important for me to remember to always get better.


4. Have you noticed and differences in reading the Scriptures in Spanish as opposed to English?
They are longer! It takes a lot more words to say in Spanish what is said in English. This is why Called to Serve has 4 verses in Spanish and only 2 in English!

5. What is the neatest service you have been able to give so far?
Um.... sheets? Haha, that's all the service-service we have done. But. We told a girl who works in the cafeteria that we would pray for her because she said she was tired. So now we pray for her every day and she is so sweet!

That's all I have to say today. I got my hair trimmed! And I took a picture before I came to the computer so I would have something to send. Oh, and I'll put one on of me and Elder Davidson. We are always so happy to see each other, even if you can't tell by his face.




Love love love love,
Hermana Pellegrini

Saturday, November 2, 2013

BEST HALLOWEEN


Ah. Halloween is like my favorite holiday. I love it. And today has been one of those days where EVERYTHING goes right! So satisfying. Okay so like 2 of you called me out for not talking about enough spiritual experiences. Sorry! We do the same thing here everyday. But. I wrote down some. So I'll start with those and then go into other stuff.
Okay so Elder Davis in my district told me this thing: After you do awesome you ask yourself: Are you happy? YES. Are you satisfied? NO. I think this is a really good way to make sure you aren't beating yourself up and picking out your flaws and making yourself feel bad, but you are still moving forward.
-We had a district heart to heart the other night. The Elders cried. It was beautiful. We all want to get so much better! I am eternally grateful for them. They are like 7 brothers. Honestly.
- So the other day I was sick (I'll get to that) and I decided to write a spoken word poem. But  no matter what I tried, the words wouldn't come! So frustrating! But what I decided was that for these 18 months, my words don't belong to me. My words belong to my Savior and proclaiming his joyful gospel. So when I teach lessons, that's when my poetry comes out. Hopefully I get better at Spanish and I can say things eloquently, or at least in a way that the Spirit gets through.
-Along with that.... it's been really cool. One of the elders told us that our teacher told him that when Hermana Bain and I were teaching him (He was pretending to be an investigator) he was holding back tears. He says we are very powerful teachers. I loved that and I was so grateful that the Spirit magnifies our talents! I said a prayer for class the other day and one of the elders left the room crying. He later told me that he didn't hear a word of my prayer, but the Spirit spoke directly to him. I'm just grateful that I could be a tiny part of that.
-Once a week we teach volunteers from Mexico City. Yesterday we taught a lady and Hermana Bain was super in tune with the Spirit and asked her about her family. She told us all about this really big trial that's happening and we understood everything she said! I love listening to natives. Hma. Bain and this volunteer were both crying and the lesson was beautiful and we were so happy! I had such a love for this woman from the second I met her. I just KNEW that God loves her individually and wants her to be happy. I love the love of Christ!!!!!!!!
-Both of our ïnvestigators"committed to baptism and one of them set a baptismal date!!!! He's gonna struggle with the law of tithing though..... but we're prepared. :)
-I really want to have endless optimisim. Today we went to the temple and I was thinking about why things are repeated so much. Then we sat in the celestial room for forever because Hma. Bain really, really likes to pray. :) But because we were there so long, I thought again about optimism. Sometimes it seems like the missionary I want to be is so far away from what I am right now. But then I thought about the repetion. I get to start over every single day. And I'm always gonna mess up. But I get to start again! Practice makes permanent. And I've got 18 months to try to work the lessons I am learning into my soul.
Okay random stuff:
-I was sick for a  bunch of days. :( I had to cut all juice out again. The doctor here thought I was crazy for being allergic to juice. Um, it's true! Anyway, then I got a really bad cold. So I had to miss class for 1.5 days. But I refused to miss lunch because I love the tacos so. so. much. Hermana Bain took good care of me and I'm all better now!
-Guys. For 18 months my initials are H.P. HARRY. POTTER. I pretty much screamed when I realized that!!!!!!
-For service we have folded sheets. I am basically a pro. They would hire me in Downton Abbey. I even know how to do the ones that are the fitted sheets and I make them look so good!
-Hermana Bain and I like to put gospel lyrics to songs that come to our heads. My favorite is our one to "Tell you what I want" by the Spice girls. Ïf you wanna be my convert, I'll tell you what to do. Get right in the font now. Let me baptize you!!!!" We think we're funny. What am I gonna do if when I have a companion I don't like? Pray a lot, I guess! I wish I could just stay with Hermana Bain.
-Hma. Bain and I both can't sing. We had to do a musical number as a district for Sunday. When we practiced, us to Hermanas couldn't even sing because we were laughing so hard. We either sounded like banshees or men. So to make us feel better.... and to mock us.... our district sang the whole Hark All Ye Nations in falsetto! I could not even stand up because I was laughing so hard. These boys are the best.
-Daylight. Savings. God's gift to missionaries..... until Spring. But it was GLORIOUS!
-In the building with our classroom.... there is a beeping sound.... it happens every. single. second. It comes from a locked closet and it has been going on for WEEKS! We call it the chukakabra (like bigfoot... I don't know if I spelled it right). After repeated attempts, we killed it! Sweet relieft. Thank goodness for maintence workers. We were going slowly insane.
-There are these cookies here that are like packaged cookies in the US. They are called chokis. Everyone is obsessed. I may have eaten a whole sleeve of them.
-Guess what?! Hermana Bain said I looked like the girl from Paperman! Ah. Still my favorite compliment ever.
-So there is this random head statue here. I'll put on a picture. Elder Scott was pretending to lift it up and I saw this note underneath it! We pulled it out and it was a coded note from other missionaries! The Mexico CCM is creating it's little quirks, just like Provo. :)
Okay, so I know I say a bunch of random stuff. But that's what I like to write about! Funny things happen and that's what I like to share with you. When I get in the field I'll meet real people and have more stories. But here.... it's a lot of development inside of me, you know? Like actually trying my hardest during volleyball. Or making sure other people go in front of me in line. Little things. So I'm sorry these aren't super spiritual, okay? It kind of made me sad that no one seemed really excited about what I had to say.


1. How was the temple???
Good! I did it in Spanish! So hard. But good. Better than every other time I've gone except for when I went to Salt Lake.
2. What is the coolest thing you've learned about your roommate?
She was named after her mom's first cabbage patch doll. BHAHAHAAHAHHA I still laugh about that.
3. How is your relationship with Heavenly Father growing as you dive into this life of service?
I think my faith is growing a lot. Just ask. Just ask for what you need. Tell him. Straight up. If it's a righteous desire, he wants to bless you! Maybe you won't get what you want, but he'll never leave you without what you need. And sometimes he answers by giving strength. Or loosening you bands. But he'll answer. I promise.
4. What is the number one food you miss from home?
...... hm...... I mean, I like American food, but I get TACOS EVERY DAY. So nothing.
5. How have you seen yourself grow in the past few weeks?
I kind of already talked about this up above.... so see it there. I wish I could be like Änd I'm awesome now! Here are these awesomely spiritual emails!" but that's not the case. Change come slowly, almost inperceptively. But it comes. So just be patient with me, okay? I really just need love and prayers from home.
HALLOWEEN!!!!! Best day. Hma. Bain and I wore costumes: I wore red stripes and she wore blue. Together we are the American flag! When I am alone I am a candy cane. But I'm never alone, so yeah. Today I woke up with energy! And my waffle was fresh! and Hma. Bain saved me the last muffin in the bucket because I AM OBSESSED WITH THE MUFFINS HERE! They got chocolate milk and a worker gave it straight to me so I got the first one! We got to buy bananas from a guy selling them on the street! Basically the best day! Oh, and my hair looks good! And laundry went smoothly! Best day best day best day. I love Halloween. :)
AND THE RED SOX ARE THE WINNNERRRRRRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSS. I did a victory lap around the computer lab when I read that. :))))
I love you guys very much!
Love,
Hermana Pellegrini

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I'm Staying Here Forever

Hi family!!! Remember that one time I was like Ï have plenty of time on the computer!"Yeah, that was a lie. I guess a lot of missionaries here decide that they can be disobedient and stay on for an hour and a half, but really you are only allowed an hour. So far, it seems like I'll be fine. I seriously type like a maniac so I will be able to answer all of your emails. :) I love them so much! We get so excited for Pday. It's like Christmas every week!

-The people of Mexico City shoot cannons all. night. long. We wake up to cannons. We go to sleep to the sound of cannons. Apparently they are fireworks, but we don't see any light. Just hear the noise. My district thinks it is because of gang wars. Seriously, someone could bomb Mexico City and no one would even know. (But I love Mexico City, so I pray that never happens).

-Our investigator (fake, but important nonetheless) committed to baptism! We couldn't even believe it! Now he is our teacher and his real name is Hermano Salazar and he's really intense. But he has a really strong testimony and I learn a lot from him. We picked up 2 more investigators. It's really nice to practice without the threat of messing up and ruining someone's eternal salvation. :)

-Something I learned: Use the scriptures so much!!!! The Spirit testifies through them. The scriptures let the Spirit speak right to the heart of the investigator.

-We had an English Fast last Friday. It was so hard! The Elders in the District had to do 5 pushups for every English word they said and we had to do 10 seconds of wall sits in at least minute intervals. The Elders all caved and I was mad! How can we ask an investigator to stop smoking if we can't even quit English for a day? But I remembered what Jared told me: They are 18 year old boys. They have a lot to learn, as do I. So I kept my mouth shut and didn't call them out about it. It was their choice.

-In Europe, NO ONE drove VW Beetles. No one. Here, I swear every other car is a Beetle. They love them! Old or new and any color of the rainbow. So awesome. I miss my Lady bug.

-So you know how my mission scripture is John 10:10? I love it because Christ brings ABUNDANT life. Well, I was reading Romans 8:37 and I looked down at the footnote. The scripture says "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."The footnote says that it means ABUNDANTLY victorious. How beautiful is that? The Lord graciously overdoes it when he blesses us. He fills us up to overflowing.

-I saw Tanner Davidson this morning!!! We were so happy to see each other! Ah. Baptism friends. He looks way excited to be here. I couldn't take a picture because my camera is broke. If you see any quality cameras on sale... that'd be cool. :) (But do you know what would be cooler? A knitted maroon Weasley sweater with a K on it. Just sayin')

-So I brought the 301 Spanish verbs book and it is a LIFE SAVER!!! Everyone in my district is jealous. I should have brought the 501 one. Elder Gardner wants to buy it off of me. So thanks for that!

More questions from Kaelie:
1. So why is it that your group of sisters is so small? Isn't the MTC down there bursting with missionaries?
Most of the missionaries that didn't want to go to another semester of school are already down here. The groups get smaller and smaller each week, but it will pick up again in January. We only have 8 hermanas in our casa which can really hold 16.
2. What is the most interesting thing you have learned about the culture down there?
They say 'Linda' to describe anything they like. I thought it was just for pretty, but nope!
3. What is your favorite lesson to teach in spanish?
Haha..... whatever one I can struggle through. :) I like teaching about prayer, though.
4. Has the different language opened up a new understanding of the gospel for you?
I think I have really just learned that pure testimony is what is important. I do not need to get into the details and complexities. I just have to bear testimony of the truth, and the Spirit carries it to the hearts of others.
5. Are the temple sessions you go to in English?
We had headphones for English last week, but next week it is all in Spanish!!!! Ah! I'll let you know how that goes. The temple workers are super nice, though.

6. Which most recent conference talk have you been studying the most to give you strength and insight?
I don't have a lot of time to study whatever I want, but I have been rereading a BYU speech called Ünleashing the Dormant Spirit"by Elder F. Enzio Busche. You should read the entire thing and do what he recommends! I made a list of all my desires I feel every day and I have been practicing categorizing them. I feel like I am more in tune with little promptings and it helps me stay on focus. :)
My challenge for you all this week: Talk it out. I am with my companion 24/7 (she is from Sandy, Utah by the way. Her biological mom is Korean). Anyway. Sometimes we are not always on the same page. This usually happens when we are planning a lesson. It is SO frustrating and we try to have the Spirit, but it takes work from both of us. Yesterday we both were frustrated, but we didn't have the option of leaving and fuming. We HAVE to be with each other and it is much more enjoyable if we are happy with each other. So we talked it out. And we ended up closer than when we began. So instead of fuming or creating reasons for other's actions, just talk it out. And really listen. And have the Spirit there.
Haha, that's a big challenge, I know. :)
I love you all so much!
Thank you for your support and emails. I really really just want to get at least one letter here!
So much love,
Hermana Pellegrini

Friday, October 18, 2013

I was SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SOOOOOOO  HAPPYYYYYY TO HEAR FROM YOU ALL!!!!!! So happy. But first, literally all of you said "I know you don't have much time"but I have a lot of time! Don't worry about long emails. I can print them out. I would rather hear everything than hear almost nothing. Also, I am a fast typer. Along with that, you can use the website DearElder.com to write me things! You email it, and then they print it out and put it in my mailbox. It takes about 10 days, but letters take over 2 weeks. So Dear Elder is nice.
OKAY. This has been the second longest week of my life! (Dance camp takes the cake). I feel like I have aged a year since I saw you last. But everyone here says the time flies by after the first week, so I am hoping that is the case. I love it here, but if time continues like this I will be an old lady before I leave!
Kaelie sent me a list of questions to answer, and I think that would work best:
 
1. How are you feeling?! Emotionally, Spiritually, Physically, Socially??
 Okay, today is a weird day to email. Normally, I feel AWESOME! I love it here. I haven't gotten homesick. Everyone is really nice here and we all say "Hola"all the time. Wow, this keyboard is sticky. Sorry. Anyway, I haven't felt an abundance of the Spirit, but I think that He is in the little things. I don't go around with a burning in my bosom, but I feel happy all the time.
Physically-- Hahaha. Well. We have gym time every day. My companion, Hermana Bain, likes to work out (p.s., I am saying a lot of these words in Spanish in my brain, but I turned the keyboard to the English setting, so it would take a lot of time to switch it back and forth to spell in Spanish. Sorry!) Anyway, so I run on the elliptical for like 15 minutes every day. Working my way up. I memorize vocabulary when I run because I like rote memorization and it keeps my mind off of how much I hate working out. But we play volleyball or basketball and it is super fun! My district is SO supportive and they make me feel like I am loved instead of a hindrance
Socially-- So good! Hermanas and elders cannot eat together, so we get a lot of girl time with other hermanas at meals. Other than that, I am with 7 boys all. the. time. But I love them! They are like 7 more brothers to me! 

Oh! Before I forget. Remember when I said I hoped I was never called as a Sister Training Leader on my mission? Because ambition is a big problem for me? Yeah.... that lasted 4 days. Hermana Bain and I are the Sister Training Leaders for our zone. There are only 2 other sisters and they leave next week and we aren't getting a new district, so we are the leaders of ourselves. I know. Pretty intense.
Anyway, our maestro is great! Hermano Rodriguez. He is a native. It is super nice to get to hear real Spanish every day! We are the intermediate class, so he speaks pretty fast. He is always happy and a VERY good teacher. We have a blast and learn a lot about how to be effective missionaries every day. We are all pretty bored with the Spanish, though. They start us pretty basic and we know it. But I have a goal to be 100% obedient, so I do all the homework even though I know the concepts. I know I will be blessed for it. And I am gaining a very large church vocabulary!

2. What is Mexico like??
Well, the city is a lot like Kiev. As we drove to the temple today, everyone was like "Look at those people seeing food! Look at all the graffiti! Look at the buses packed with people!" But I have done that all before. It's just... life. It's not a zoo to look at the animals. Just look at my pictures of Ukraine and pretend that everyone is short and brown. That's Mexico City. Anyway. That's not what it's like here in the CCM. The CCM is HEAVEN. Seriously, it looks like Pleasantville or some 50's town. All of the hermanas live in casas that all have different pastel-colored trimming. Mine is light purple. We have lawns and the trees are huge and the streets are wide but there are no cars so we just walk down the middle. #runonsentence. There are these big circles everywhere and we are supposed to run to them in case of an earthquake. We are praying for an earthquake, because we really want to run to the circles! Haha!

3. I would love to know about your companion... what is she like?
Hermana Bain is GREAT! Seriously, such a big tender mercy that she is my companion. She is obedient and driven and kind and always makes me feel good. She always supports me and loves to listen to me. She says I have a gift of listening. She is half Korean and she is beautiful! We get along SO well and we are such good friends. When we sing together we sound like angels! She thinks I have a great voice, which cracks me up.

4. What do you think of that MTC?
Haha... already answered this. But I am SO HAPPY I am here and not in Provo! It is always warm here. We study outside all the time. We have a blast.

5. How is the food?
DELICIOUS. Lunch is my favorite because there are tortillas and rice and beans and SPICY salsa! But dinners are good, too. We had tamales and I went back for seconds! Every day the food is different and so I don't get sick of it. Yet. But everyone says it is always good. I eat well, but haven't gotten sick from it. I feel pretty healthy.

6. How are the beds?
Hard as rocks. It takes me 40 minutes to fall asleep. But I wake up pretty easy! I know I have to be up, so I do it.

7. How are your teachers?
Also already answered this. But I will be getting a new teacher next week. He is currently out investigator. When I would read missionary emails I would be like "Why do they care about this fake investigator?"Because they are pretty much the focus of the day, that's why. They just threw us in. Our second day here we taught a lesson in only Spanish. And we fell FLAT ON OUR FACES. Oh, it was soooooooo soooooooooo bad. We tried to keep a good perspective, but it was hard. The next lesson was better, and last night Manuel prayed for us and has been reading the Book of Mormon! But we are an intermediate class, so he doesn't go easy on us. He won't commit to baptism to any of the the companionships. Gah. But PLEASE keep praying for me!!!! I can feel your prayers and support and you have NO IDEA how much they help! Please please please don't forget that I need your help!!!!

8. Is it SO nice to be busy again and knowing that everything thing you are doing is going towards something AMAZING?
This is SO NICE! Ah. It's nice to have a purpose, but overwhelming, too. What I have learned more than anything else here is that we need the Spirit with us ALWAYS. There is no way I can be a missionary without the help of God. Even our Spanish teachers tell us "Don't worry about learning Spanish. Worry about having the Spirit." It's hard, but I love it.

10. ARE YOU TAKING PICTURES?! (I know, dumb question, of course you are, but I just had to check.)
We can only take pictures on Pdays! Worst thing ever!!!!! Everyone breaks this rule, but Herman Bain and I don't. Which stinks. So I have taken some, but most of today was spent at the temple and doing laundry. Which was a beast of an ordeal that I would rather forget. But I took some. I know that you want to know how the temple went: The temple is pretty. We go every two weeks.

11. The top 3 things you've learned so far?
1. Have the Spirit with you always
2. Always be supportive of your companion
3. Sometimes it is better to show your love than completing the task. I have heard this before from President Monson, but I have been trying to enact it. Which is hard. Because I have to find a balance between my getting my work done and truly loving. But it makes me happy.

12. Have you had a chance to meet people outside of the MTC yet?
No, and I am scared to. Can't I just stay here for 18 months??

13. What was Church like in Spanish?
Only our sacrament meeting is in Spanish. We give the talks. Ah! Í'll just say... it is A LOT more easy to understand than Russian! But I still say Niet all the time instead of no. And Spaseeba instead of gracias.

14. Did enough people write you today?
No. I knew I wouldn't get a lot of emails, but I still hoped for them. So THANK YOU to my family and to Marissa for writing me! I was glad to have some!

So much love,
Hermana Pellegrini

p.s. THANK YOU for the surprise teddy bear! I sleep with it every night! Who put in in my bag? What is its name?