Sunday, November 24, 2013

Last One From the CMM!!

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.
7:45-Personal Study. Focus on the investigator.
8:45-Progressing Investigator.
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
6:30-Progressing investigator
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


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!
Hermana Pellegrini