Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 4

Hello World!

I cannot believe that I am hitting the home stretch here in the MTC. My District and one other district are the oldest people here now. The next wave of people leaving the CCM is my district! The time here has just flown by. 

This week has been a little more difficult than last week. Not too much, but it had its moments. We ve started working in harder things in the language courses, and its basically math in word form. I hate that. I really have to try to understand everything. All of my teachers are speaking Spanish now, and as we are the oldest we have been told to speak nothing but Spanish. That is so difficult! I can understand way more than I can speak.

But my District was having some communication problems that were really starting to eat at me, we were all on each others nerves I think. But my amazing night teacher Hermano Diaz (the redheaded Latino I mentioned) was inspired by The Spirit and stopped the class and made us do a District inventory and just talk. We all talked, I cried a little, and now things are better than they ever were. We are all just friends, and its great. (Although Elder England did kick a volleyball yesterday and it hit me in the face. So I have a slightly swollen face. Much better today than yesterday.)

My companion and I are doing really well. We ve really opened up to each other and learned to trust each other. That makes all the diffference. 

The Spanish is coming along okay. Im really trying as hard as I can, and I know a lot of vocabulary. The probablem is the grammar and the past and future conjugations. The thing that makes me upset this week is the Imperfect and Preterit past tense. HOLY NO. That is going to take a while. And a lot of practice. But with the Lord I can do all things!

This week we dug into the story of the Brother of Jared. He is confused about getting light in the barges, and so he works as hard as he possinly can and all he can manage is 16 small stones. He goes to the Lord with them in his hands and says something to the effect of, I know that I am so weak. I know that you can do everything, and this is all that I can do. But please acccept my weakness and help me. God, this is all that I can do. And that is all that God wants from us. He wants us to come up with the solution ourselves and then try our hardest. And when that is done, and we cant do anymore, we go to him with the work we did in our hands and we say, Please God, its all I could do. And then he will help with the rest. 

God loves you all. And I love you all. We all can do hard things. Have a great week everyone!


Hermana Randall

Week 3

Week Three is over and gone!

All of the days are the same day now. Its weird, but I totally understand what everyone means about the weeks being short and the days being long.

This week was pretty much the same as last week. Im trying the learn Spanish, which is actually coming along not to shabbily, its not good. But its not bad. im able to bear simple testimony, pray, and teach lessons in really basic vocabulary. Its nice.

I did have a few problems with my companion this week. She is realy sweet and everything, but she doesnt really like herself. So shes really needy, and its really hard to lift the load of a companion. We had a good long talk together, and then with the Mission Presidents wife, and then together again. So I really hope things start to get better for her soon. Im trying to help any way that I can.
I have also managed to gain 4 lbs. No matter what I do, this place is just packing on the carbs, and even with the excercising in the morning, I literally cannot move enough during the day because of classes. Its difficult. 

We got two new districts of Latinos this week. And there are three Hermanas. Two from Argentina and one from Peru. They are very sweet, but they are having a hard time. We found two of them crying by themselves at different times. Its hard to comfort them when I cant speak to them very well. But I really try. What is sort of gross is that where they come from the sewer system cant handle toilet paper. So the trash can gets filled with toilet paper everyday, no matter how many times that we tell them they can flush it here.

Next week we are getting two new disricts of Latinos again, and there are 7 Hermanas, and they are all going to stay at the house with us. So me and my companion are going to be the only two North American sisters in the house. There will be 9 of us and two bathrooms. That will be difficult. But I hope we will all get along!

There was a couple little earthquakes this week. Nothing huge, but like every other earthquake I have ever been in, I slept through it!

Everything here is military time and celcius and pesos and meters and kilometers, it is really weird, and really different, and I cannot even tell you how many people look at me and roll their eyes as a slowly count out my pesos. And Im faster than half the district!

We also got new teachers last week and one of my teachers does NOT look Latino. He is REALLY white, and has bright red hair. But he is. And ive notice Latinos, or at least the ones here, really like cheesy jokes. We get A LOT of those.

But is was a really spiritual week. On Sunday we talked a lot about love and forgiveness. And we watched The Lords Errand. The movie about Thomas S. Monson. If you have the chance please watch it. It is a moving and insipiring movie. So many wonderful things. And when someone asked why everything was so hard for a missionary, they showed us the video of Jeffery R Holland and David A Bednar talking about how Salvation never was easy. That is why we must pay that higher price. It is incredibly moving. Watch them. And always remember that forgiveness isnt just because of the person you are trying to forgive. Forgivness is for yourself. If you are carrying that load unnessecarily, talk to the Lord, have him help you forgive. That load taken from your mind and your spirit, will make it feel like you are flying. Remember to forigve.

That is pretty much it for the week. Im headed to answer a few more emails, and then to lunch, and then a session at the Temple! Love you all! I really hope that all is well in your lives. You are all in my prayers.

                      Hermana Randall

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Week 2

Hola from Chile everyone!

Being here and with the limited time that we are given really makes me appriciate the fact that I am a fast typer! Thank you for all of the emails! Its really hard to answer everyone, so I hope that this group letter will suffice! (Seriously, I got 40 emails this week)

To answer some questions that I have been getting. 
1. The food here is really good, but there is a lot of it, and it is really heavy. I dont think Ive ever eaten this many noodles in my life. But they did give us cheese empanadas today. And oh my gosh. Those were my favorite. Its also dissapointing to get a dessert and not have it be sweet. There were these things that looked like nobake cookies, but they actually tasted like horseradish and oranges. It was nasty.

2. My companions name is Hermana Rebeka Stock. Shes younger than I am by about 6 months and goes to BYU Idaho. She is also incredibly clumsy, but in an endearing way. Sort of, shes almost killed me a couple times. (Tripped me down the stairs, steps on my feet, drops things, headbutted me a couple times, ran over my foot with the chair, stuff like that.) But she is really sweet. 

3. The Spanish is coming. Yesterday we were walking around the temple and there were some kids playing and we talked to them in Spanish, and i knew what they were saying and was even able to respond in kind. It was amazing. I know that God is really helping me to get the language. I still do not understand past tense, like at all. But Im working on it, and I think we are actually going to cover it this week some time. 

But really this week has had almost nothing new in it. I was able to go into the city with the other Hermanas from Al Cantara (the place I stay at intstead of the MTC). We took a taxi (terrifying driving. From everyone.), and went to a little store, learned how to use the post office, and went to a little grocery store that lookes like if Albertsons dressed up like Walmart for Halloween. Different but not too bad. We got wolf whistled while we were walking and that was weird, but the rest of the day went by pretty smoothly. 

We switch teachers today because we are moving up a grade so to speak. We are the 3 and 4 weekers, instead of 1 and 2. Tomorrow we get 5 new Districts. 3 from North America, and 2 from Latin American countries. There will be three Latina Hermanas and we are all excited about that. Except two of them are from Argentina, so the teachers told us not to listen to how they pronounce things. They dont want us to do the che thing they do. But the MTC is growin by about 35 people, which is a lot because it is so teeny.
We also were able to go the temple last week. It was gorgeous! Smaller, a lot smaller, than I am used to. But still the same. The chandelier in the Celestial room, was spectacular. 

Thats really about it though for the week. Just living day to day. This week went by incredibly quickly, and according to everyone else, they rest of the weeks go by even faster. 

Thank you all for writing to me! I really appriciate it! Sorry that I dont have time to message all of you. But know that I am thinking about you, and that your words of love and support mean oodles!

Love you all!

        Hermana Randall

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 1

Hola everyone!

     This is my first email from the MTC! So what Im going to be doing is writing one big email about my week and sending it to everyone who gave me their emails. So if you want to reply to me, please just write a seperate email, DO NOT HIT REPLY OR REPLY ALL otherwise your email to me will go to about 70 other people as well.
      Also I apologize for the spelling and grammer mistakes that I{m going to make. Im typing on a Chilean keyboard and all the letter and puncutation are in different places. 
      Well, the plane landed last week on Wednesday and once we made it into the country past customs and everything we wer chauffered to the MTC housing. Most of the missionaries are housed in the temple housing by the MTC, but there are about 40 of us at the CCM (thats MTC in Spanish), right now, so about 15 of us live at a little house on Al Cantara street about 10 minutes away. Its about 100 years old and used to be an old Swiss embassy. 
       Mi compaƱera es Hermana Stock. She is 19 and from Missouri. She{s really sweet and shes really good at the grammar and sentence structures of Spanish. I{m picking up vocabulary like no ones business. But I struggle with the grammar of everything. So we fit together pretty perfectly. Shes more quiet and Im more outspoken so we dont really have a problem working together. 
       The lessons are going well, I have three teachers right now one for the morning, afternoon, and evening. And depending on the day they all teach different things. 
        A basic schedule here goes like this,

          6:45 Get up 
           7;00 Personal study
           8:00 Breakfast
           8:30 Excersise
           9;20 Get ready
           9:45 Leave for the CCM
          10:00 Classes start, we have classes ALL day and only stop for ten minute breaks here and there and then lunch and dinner.
           10:00  PM leave and go home and then collapse due to exhaustion. 

         Despite the hard working schedule Im really enjoying my time here. My district is fun, we are the only sisters in the district, but not the only sisters in the house. There is a trio of Hermanas that have been here 2 weeks already. 
          What wasnt so fun about tis week was the fact that I got food poisoning after the first day. I spent all of Friday throwing up and sleeping back at the house. At least everyone thinks it was food posioning. It could also be the fact that they basically feed us NOTHING BUT STARCHES and soda. The food is pretty good, but it doesnt compare at all to home. There I could chose what I wanted to eat and when. You dont realize how much of a freedom that it until its gone. 
        If I had to describe the CCM I would say it is a violent, fun, spiritual mix of EFY, Spanish class, and college all wrapped in to one. It is both very fun and extremely different. But Im adjusting. 
        Spanish is coming slowly but surely. The vocab is building, sentence sturcture not so much. So for those of you who sent me emails in Spanish this week...... I only understood like th general message because I only have an hour to write emails and didn{t have time to translate all of it. But I would appriciate any and all prayers to help me learn Spanish. God has been so wonderful and merciful during my first week here. It has not been all sunshine and daisies. There was at least two times when I was sitting in my classroom, feeling sick, tired, and having a headache, looking at my teacher speaking rapid Spanish, and thought to myself. What the crap did I get myself into. But once I get some sleep and say some really heartfelt humbling prayers I am just as ready to go as the day before. 
           My time is running short but I want to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers! Love you all! 

              Hermana Randall