Week 1

Hola everyone!! I don’t really understand how to use this keyboard, so sorry if there´s typos, but I’m not going to bother figuring out how to use it. There’s also no return key so this is going to be one huge paragrah. I’m loving the CCM! (Missionary training center). Sorry in advance for this lame comparssion, but being here is like being on an upside down rollar coaster. You have the highest of highs, then you feel super low, you’re confused, you want to scream, then you’re super happy, and for some reason you really like it and want to keep doing it. I have learned TONS. AND I LEARNED HOW TO ROLL MY Rs. This is a big deal people. For 5 years I have unsuccesfully been able to do this, but one week speaking Spanish and wah-la… literally the gift of tounges. Anyways my companion’s name is Hermana (sister) Herrera.

She hails from Hondurous (oh I spelled that wrong.) She is super sweet, smart, patient, and knows a lot about the gospel. We share a room with 2 other hermanas. All of us are heading to Coban together which is really nice! We’re in a district with 4 elders who are going to Hondorus (?) for their missions. Basically the 8 of us are together in class and practice teaching together all day. They are all seriously incredible. Many of them are converts themselves or the only member in their family. One hermana lost her sister 3 months before she left on her mission. All have come from much humbler circumstances than myself. I was worried about how much stuff I could fit in my suitcase and not being able to drive the new car…I{m super grateful for their examples. All of us have fun together even if their Spanish is much better than mine. If I really focus I can understand almost everything that I hear in Spanish which is literally a miracle. I can only say about 50% of what I want to, but I learn so much everyday.

THinking about where my spanish was a week ago to now…it’s crazy how far I’ve come. Really I haven’t had a choice but to speak spanish because I was thrown into the native spanish speaking district. It makes me sound super legit, but in reality I have been having to play a lot of catch-up. I have also realized that communication is a lot more than just language. I am learning how to connect with people from all over Latin America, which is seriously my wildest Spanish dreams coming true…but it’s defniitely hard. I have realized though it doesn’t matter what langauge you speak, what you look like, or where you{re from, when people bear their testimony the Spirit is going to be there. I often just have to try to teach and at least the Spirit can be present. I am able to get through a lesson in Spanish and many times I have really felt so many things put into my mouth to help me teach. We committed one of our (fake) investigators to baptism yesterday which was a great feeling though! Oh I forgot to mention they snatcched our cameras right when we got here, so no pictures 😦 We’ve taken a couple group ones, but I’m not sure when we’ll get them.

I basically look the same, just with longer skirts and the nametag.

And I’m also a GIANT here. Everyone is like a foot shorter than me. Oh many want to know about the food. It’s really good! Mostly stuff I recognize like meat and potato type stuff. They’ll throw in a tamale here or there with some salsa. Like the Cannon Center, it’s like 90 percent carbs. There’s an awesome fruit and ice cream bar, so I can’t complain. There’s been a couple bug incidents here which makes me nervous for the food sitch that’s awaiting me in the field. But ´welcome to the work!´has been the phrase here. I was made a sister training leader over my branch! There’s two branches here, the spanish speaking and english speaking branches. I get to help plan devotionals, help with problems the sisters have, and plan music for meetings. This has also made me practice Spanish a lot. I think they put me in charge of music because not many play the piano here. So mother thank you for all those years of piano lessons. The other STL is in charge of helping pass out meds. I wanted that job so badly because then there would be two little nurse Sister Scruggs and that would have been just too adorable to handle. All the people I people I have met here are really incredible. Super hardworking, strong testimonies, etc. I have seen a lot of my strengths and weaknesses magnified here. I need to be more patient, with myself, others, and ability to be a good missionary. There’s a scripture in Mosiah I’ve been leaning on a lot…I can’t remember it exactly but it’s along the lines of you don’t have to run before you can walk type of thing. I am certainly in the learnign how to walk phase! One awesome experienece- after sturggling to teach I taught a short lesson with my companion to an elder in my district. He told me he felt the Spirit so strongly, like when he first heard the missionary lessons. Oh man hearing that made all the stuggles worth it. Other fun facts I feel like sharing…people brush their teeth here after every meal. I’m not sure if it’s a CCM thing, or a Latin American thing but either way I am going to run out of toothpaste very quickly. When someone sneezes everyone says ´´salud´ and I giggle everytime. The velcro on my snazzy new messenger bag is real loud and it scares the Spirit away everytime I open it. We (sometimes sacrastically) say ‘que bendicion’ constantly in my district. That translates to ‘what a blessing’…so it comes up a lot. Oh! I also get to teach little english lessons to my district.

They are all super excited to learn and I’m grateful I get to help.

Learn more languages people!!! It opens up you’re world. The days are starting to go by very quickly. The first couple went super slow because I was exhuasted and had know idea what was going on. It’s certainly hard. I have moments where I am so frusterated and want to quit, then 10 minutes later I feel great..I am still exhuasted, but I really am enjoying it here. It’s really small, only about 70 missionaries so the President and his wife know all of us. I love it.

It feels really personal. I surprisngly have not missed my computer, TV, or that kind of stuff. There’s enough other stuff to keep me busy.

I wish I could take pictures. We went to the temple this morning. My first and last time here in Guatemala. There’s no temple in my mission so I won’t be able to go until I’m home. Go to the temple! It’s the best place you can be..(even if the session is in Spanish and you don’t pick up everything they say.) Thank you for your emails! I love you and miss you all! Although I’ve decided I can’t think about it because if I get homesick right now my head will explode. I don’t know when the next time I can email will be. I leave the CCM next Tuesday and Wednesday would have been my P-day so who knows. The church is true! -Hermana Scruggs

ellie

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