Time has flown by so much and yet it feels like I have been here forever. I love it here, the blessings and wonderful miracles I have witnessed are truly amazing. Well before I get to them I'll just start off with things about my week. So as I have been here I realized that almost all of my clothes don't follow mission rules/standards and i have sent almost half of what i have to Sheyla Wager, she works at the BYU laundry and I can just send it over without paying for shipping, its great. So now I only have 5 skirts and 5 shirts altogether, all the ones I got with Mom while shopping and a few exercise clothes. They have a store here for clothes and i'm thinking of buying two more skirts and two more blouses, but i have to save my money I get on my card every week, it will be great. They have everything here and I am truly grateful that they do. The food is wonderful!! yet everyone in my district complains about it, especially my companion and another sister. I think they are trying to have a competition on who can not eat for the whole day, or week, its crazy. Anyway, our district is kinda troublesome, everyone got in trouble for playing UNO during planning time (I was studying) and our Branch President came over and took some stuff from one of our Elders, he had a package from his aunt with food and party hats for New Year's Eve and he came and took it. Everyone was a little shocked.
I feel really bad, more like sorrow and downhearted. The spirit in our district is almost like they don 't want to be here and that sadden's me a lot because I love it here, I love the food, the weather, the Teacher's, the Apartments we live in, everything and the overall feeling is ingratitude for what they are here for. I pray for everyone every night and I ask that the spirit may be with us always and that we can make good decisions. Anyway, I know why I came here, and I know that if i keep the rules and know where i am suppose to be I will be safe. We went to main campus today and we came across some Elders who were from Culiacan!! I was so excited he said that we are going to the best place ever and that we will be baptizing a lot of people and busy the whole time, he said it is very green and that there are animals everywhere, iguanas, dogs, lizards, bugs, everything. He also said that it is extremely hot and I'm thinking that I got this because I'm from Arizona!! hehehe everyone is going to die because of the heat, and he said it really wasn't that humid. I am so excited to go we only have 2 and a half weeks till we ship out, and we still haven't received our travel papers for when we go down, all i know is that it is a totally of 25-30 hour travel just to get down there. The mountains are so beautiful here and i love it them so much, we have sunsets and the mountains turn pink and orange and they are so peaceful to look at, i wis h i could hike them!
So funny story, every time I go to gym I get hit in the face with the Volleyball, and it's usually hard. Elder Smith threw me the ball and i reached out to catch it and i somehow flinched and it hit me right in the face. And another time I was playing and the other game that was going on, their ball came over and hit me on the top of the head. Another time we were playing and an Elder kicked the ball and it hit square in the face. I just have fond memories of getting hit in the face! This might go back to the time when i was hit in the eye when we were playing baseball with Dad and he hit it and i was right under it and my glove was off and it hit me in the eye. That was a great day, but surprisingly it doesn't hurt and I never get a headache or like it hurts or anything, that is a blessing of its self. I haven't fallen yet but there are times when I look like i'm trying to take off the ground and fly when i'm on ice, just flailing my arms around trying to keep my balance, its really funny to see.
Our teachers are so great! we have two regular teachers that teach and they are our investigators that we have to teach in Spanish the gospel. Hermano Peterson, and Hermana Avery, although, we have had a lot of substitute teachers this past week because Hma Avery was out of town. They are the nicest people every and they take time and they let us know that they love us and that they are here for us. I'll try and get a picture with them before i leave they are great! The lesson's are going great and my Spanish is definitely better then when i first got here that's for sure, I know that i still need a lot of help and it's going to be hard and will take me a long time to finally speak it but i will speak it. The gospel studies are going good, i love learning about the restoration and getting it memorized. I have the first vision, James 1:5, my purpose and the lesson headings memorized in Spanish. The power that comes when you recite the first vision and you are able to stare into your investigators eyes and say with your heart that this is what I believe and I want to share it with you, it is the most amazing feeling, i know that the spirit testifies so strongly about this and you can see it stir inside of them and that they feel the spirit as well. I love teaching about the gospel, I have this hunger in me like Alma the Younger when he was going about preaching with the sons of Mosiah and they rejoiced and wanted to share with everyone, they served for so long and I can only hope that I can do at least a tenth of what they did.
So one of the miracles I have seen here i s the amazing power of Heavenly Father, Me and my companion were not getting along at all the whole time we have been here. And it has been a struggle and a really trying time to be patient and to be willing to help her in anything. So I prayed for her everyday, every meal, every personal study, every night, every morning, and I could see the other teacher's trying to help, they talk to us one on one and they give encouragement and they were always there. One day it was going good, but the spirit was not with us and we fought, it was the worst ever and I wanted to just tell her how much I loved her and yet she didn't like to share feelings at all, and its easy to point a finger and say it was her fault, but I know that it was mine as well. The Sister Training Leaders came over on that night and they talked with us for over two hours, we missed dinner and they had amazing insights and they brought the spirit with them and they shared their testimonies of why we are here and our purpose. They shared love and peace and the most amazing thing happened the next day, the lord softened both our hearts and we are not like best friends but we have this respect for each other, and this knowledge that we are here for a purpose and we talked for a long time and it was good, i could feel the spirit and the lord reaching out and saying that I love both of you, please d on't fight. I know that this could have only worked because the lord was there for us and he loved both of us equally.
This last miracle is a personal one. Every since I can remember i have had headaches, and these are the kind that are normal i would say not a migraine but they were headaches. And i had these normal ones about 4-3 times a week and then once a month I would get these huge migraines that would knock me out for a couple of days and I would come back feeling awful and exhausted and tired. I counted headaches from when I was 7 to about 15 or 16 and I calculated that I had over 1,500 headaches in that time and they ranged from sharp intense pain to dull throbbing ones, with light and sound sensitivity and food never sounded good to me sometimes and that was hard because I love food! I didn't count the headaches i received afterwards, and I went to College so there was definitely more. The night before I flew out to Utah to start my mission, I received a father's blessing, and in that blessing Dad promised me that I wouldn't suffer any severe headaches while i serve my mission. Ever since that blessing I have not received one headache since I've been here and it's been a month I would have at least one. I know that the Lord blessed me and that to feel this relief from something that I had been struggling with my whole life, is a miracle, and I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers and He hears and answer's the desires of our hearts, and He knows who we are, He knows that we can become greater than who we are, He knows us. I never thought that I could be healed in this way from headaches that I knew that I would have the rest of my life, and that i could be healed spiritually as well, to know that he has an immense love for us is overwhelming and that we can return to live with him again. I am over joyed and filled with gratitude and love and contentment and peace and happiness. This is what I am teaching to the people of Mexico, this is why I am here.
I love you all, and I love hearing from you and receiving letters. That is an amazing experience to receive a letter. The district leader goes during meal time and gets the letters and everyone is waiting in anticipation, and he comes in with white envelopes and we all get excited trying to see if any are for us and then there are the colored slips of paper and you know someone received a package. I am reminded of the scripture "oh what joy fills my heart.." and everyone is so excited, we receive letters and usually the whole cafeteria is quiet reading their letters, you can here people laughing, crying and some shouting out " ;WHAT" its amazing. Letter's have such an impact on the missionaries lives, its knowing that someone loves you and that they care about you and they are thinking of you. It's one of my favorite things in the MTC, to watch everyone receive letters.
I love you so much, and I know that the Lord will bless you and that we are here for a purpose.
Jammed door knob is no more - Stuffed mittens to keep out the cold
Elders Kennedy & Smith sleeping - We are so tired sometimes
Jumping in front of the MTC World Map
Brigham's Landing for lunch on P-Days - I take a sack lunch with salad, it's good