First week in the mission field! Wow what a week. So every morning I have enough energy to get me through the day but come 8 I get super sleepy so the two later appointments at 8 9 are the hardest! I have barely enough energy to write in my journal every night but somehow I manage to squeak out an overview of the day. So my comp's name is HMN Aguayo and she's from Washington. She's 19 and we have similar personalities in some ways. We work together great and she always have a happy positive attitude which helps me a lot. During comp overview this week after our 4 hour weekly planning session she told me that she loves working with me because I have such a positive attitude and I've helped her to feel like herself again after her last comp. She also said that during the lessons when I speak and bear my testimony that the people I'm talking to listen. They are genuinely interesting in what I have to say and that I bring the spirit whenever I talk. Her compliment to me really meant a lot because even though I don't talk a lot yet, she reassured me that at least the spirit is there and I'm able to touch their hearts by the spirit. What's most difficult for me right now is that my knowledge of Spanish is pretty much strictly gospel vocab, and not every day lingo. So it's near impossible for me to get to know them more in-depth so I'm pretty quiet during lessons except for when it comes to teaching the gospel principals and bearing my testimony/ sharing experiences. The other thing that's hard is not having family there to talk to... all I have is my companion every day and not family to talk to on a Saturday night. I'm sure I'll get used to that real quick though.
I heard a quote that says when your head hits the pillow at night and you have a great sleep that means you accomplished the Lord's work for that day (something like that) Well I have never slept so good in my entire life! It usually took me an hour or so to fall asleep at night back home. Here, literally after I climb into bead and my head hits that pillow I'm out 2seconds later. It's so crazy! The earplugs have been such a life saver in the CCM for studying and for sleeping. Now I'm used to them and still use them. The Hispanic family I live with has 2 dogs and they stay right above where my bunk bed is and the first night they barked up a storm so the ear plugs were my best friend that night. So the people here are just wonderful! I love the people I teach and in my ward so much! They are the humblest people I've ever met. The majority of them moved from Mexico recently, don't have a lot of money, or a big house but they sure have the biggest hearts! Every time I walk into a house for a visit I'm always greeted with besos (kisses on the cheek) not gonna lie, the first time that happened I was weirded out but now I'm used to it. These families have close to nothing but they are always so welcoming and will serve you with food every time! For dinners I have aroz (rice) with every meal and an authentic Mexican dish... which are so delicious! For breakfast I eat a yogurt with fresh berries and lunch I make a turkey/cheese sandwich and fruit/spinach smoothie.
Truman- THANK YOU so much for the little blender! It's the perfect size and when I'm done making it I just drink it out of the little bottle. It's still my favorite meal of the day(: Since I've left home I've tried so many new foods! One of my favorites is aroz con leche (rice with warm milk) so yummy and it wonderful on a cold day! Another thing I love is Mexican hot cocoa, because it's made with a little bit of cinnamon. So yummy! Mexican bread/pastries are great as well. I come away from every meal with a family so full like I'm going to pop! They feed the sisters like were elders. I'm trying to figure out portion control now... ha-ha Dad- I read the spiritual stmps story on lds.org last Tuesday after my computer shut off. (we only get 2 hrs to email at the library and I didn't know that you could add on 5min every couple sec once the time is about up) Figured it out today, thanks to my comp.
So I finished Alma! Woot woot! It was great now I'm on to Helaman! In the field we only get 1hr for personal study time and it's so valuable! So I take advantage of it every day. Love reading the scriptures! Crazy story so Saturday we got a terrible snow blizzard, and we had to park our cars at 4. So my comp and I went home and made some hot cocoa (thank you mom) and then right after we changed into comfy clothes we got a txt from the AP's that said we were going to do a blizzard bunkers challenge. We had to keep our cars parked but go out and track and the goal was to get into as many houses as possible. So we happily bundled up and headed out into the snow! We knocked on a bunch of doors and we got a lot of; you need to take care of yourselves, it's too cold to be outside, sorry I have my own religion, I'm Baptist, I'm atheist, and we talked to a bunch of black people. Come 7:15 when we started getting tired and by this time my eyelashes and hair was frozen, a super nice lady answered the door with kids running around and friends over. She served us a hot bowl of chilly (which ended up being our dinner). They were English speaking btw. After the chilly I shared Matthew 11:28-30 with them. With their glasses of Jack Daniels and wine in their hands I bore my testimony on how I know that Christ is always there for us with open arms and that Christ is the light of the world. As I was talking everyone was listening and I could feel the spirit. We finished with a prayer and then left. That one family made tracting in the blizzard worth it. It takes so much courage to tract! To go up to a door and say, hi were missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints and we are out sharing messages about Christ. Would you like to hear a short message? After about the 3rd time of watching my comp I was golden and starting saying it. Missionary work definitely isn't easy but sharing the happy message of Christ couldn't be more rewarding. I love waking up and have the opportunity to do that. I couldn't think of anything more happy to do!
So this Sunday (yesterday) At the end of the sacrament meeting the bishop called me up to introduce myself. Of course it was in Spanish because our Denver 3rd ward is a whole Spanish branch. So I got up there and said my name, where I'm from then bore a 5 min testimony. I felt so incompetent because everyone I was speaking to was fluent! My hands were shaking pretty bad after haha We have 6 sets of Spanish missionaries in my ward so after I was done they gave me high fives and said their introduction didn't sound that good. So it must have not been that bad. It was very hard to keep my attention span yesterday because I don't know what everyone is saying during classes so it was pretty boring. I wish I could just skip to the part where I'm fluent already lol It just gives me more determination to work harder. My goal is to speak more Spanish every new day, then the last. And to make the next day a better one than the last. It's working out great so far! So super creepy experience... this past week I think it was Tuesday, after our district meeting we went to this apartment complex to tract for a bit and ran into this creeper. After my comp and I got out of the car I saw this guy staring at us, he shut off his car, and then got out and walked over to us. Immediately I didn't feel good inside. I ended up being a drunk Mexican about 20 and wasn't interested in our message. He asked us if we had boyfriends and said that he didn't have a girlfriend. We explained our missionary purpose and this whole time we were talking he kept staring at me like intently... like deep into my soul. I kept taking steps back and finally when we said we had another cita (appointment) he says ahhh hermana Angell bonita ojos (I have beautiful eyes) and then we turned around and walked away. We shook hands and when he shook my hand he pulled my hand up to kiss it but I pulled mine back and said noooo real fast. As we were walking away I could tell the creep was staring at me up and down and he says, ahh hermana Angell. After that experience I was officially freaked out, my hands were shaking, and I felt personally violated! I told hermana that I saw him looking at us before he walked over to us. And I said that I didn't feel good about the situation before we started talking to him. She said that if I had told her she wouldn't have said anything and we would've walked away. I'm learning how to trust the feelings of the Holy Ghost real quick out here. That's why it's so essential to be in tune with it. After that I told heremana that I needed to say another prayer saying thanks for our protection. I know that we had angels watching out for us while we were tracting that day. Hopefully that never happens again!
So we have service at the Denver homeless shelter every Tuesday and Thursday. This past Thursday we threw out moldy bread, re stacked different assortments of bread, and diced about 50 peppers. We were there for 3 hours and after that I never wanted to see another pepper again! It felt great to do service and I challenge you guys to find some time every day/once a week to do a small act of service. After all Christ had a life full of service (: I don't think I told you guys this but before our district left the CCM we all got blessings of comfort. I chose Elder Ogle to give me a blessing and it was a wonderful experience. We all cried during our blessings and there was so much love in the room! I miss everyone from D5A so much! It's weird not being with my new district every day. That's all I can think of for this week... every day is a new experience and I really enjoy sharing my testimony and taking to people every day. I hope all is well back at home. How's the weather there? Thank you for staying in touch so well... it helps me. I'm sending a package home later today so you can expect some letters and a package in the mail soon! Love you guys to the moon and back!