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?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Little Mexican Finally Down In Mexico

I am at the CCM!!!! AH! Sorry if there are problems with this email, this is a Spanish keyboard. I am doing my best. :) This doesn´t feel real, right now. I just saw you guys a couple hours ago! The flights were great. Do you realize that I have been on 9  flights this year? I am an old pro! There were 3 of us missionaries in Utah, and 12 total in Dallas. All of us sisters loved each other right away! So we have had a blast. Oh, a metal cane fell out of the overhead container and hit me in the head! The great thing was, it didn´t hurt at all! Miracle! My companion is Sister Bain. She is going to Everett, too! She is beautiful. I will send pictures when I can. Mexico City is a lot like Kiev. Lots of graffiti. Lots of color. The CCM is beautiful!! Love it.

And thank you SO MUCH for the emails here waiting for me. They helped a lot. That way I didn't have to open an empty email. Please write whenever you can!!! My Pday is on Thursday (not tomorrow) so I will write you then.

I love you all so much! I will have more to tell you next week.

Hermana Pellegrini