Elise at temple

Elise at temple
Hermana Moser

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Feliz Navidad!

Dear Julian: I am so sorry for making fun of your English. I understand now. Sincerely, Elise.
¡Hola familia!

So I am in Mexico now, in a little town called Frontera, and it is the weirdest thing! Honestly this has been the strangest week of my life. BUT it is also really awesome and I love it! 

Where to begin, where to begin... I can't even think right now because the computer is telling me all the words I'm typing are wrong. Okay.. how about we start at the beginning? I think that's a very good place to start....

Last Monday we flew all day long. From Salt Lake to Houston, and from Houston to Villahermosa. I met a lovely man in the Houston airport named Branko. He was so cool. I started a conversation by complementing his pink socks. Anyways.. we talked about religion and such for a time, and then he gave me his business card and I gave him a Christmas pass'along card. 

We landed in Villahermosa at about 9 pm local time. Everyone's hair immediately started doing crazy things, and it was hilarious. It is so humid here. SO humid. Anyroad, we made it through customs and baggage and blah blah blah (which was super entertaining with 9 white hermanas who don't know Spanish) and when we got to the other side, there was our Mission president and his family waiting with open arms to greet us. And by open arms, I mean a warm handshake. Obviously the mission president can't hug us. He's a boy. But his wife and daughters gave us hugs and kisses (Yes, mom.. the cheek-kiss thing is real, and I LOVE it. I am an advocate. But it's a little awkward when you go half the day with lip-stick prints near your ear. #mylife). (And sometimes male investigators don't know hermanas can't get that close to them, and that gets real awkward también--also). They then took us to this out-door-ish restaurant with the CHEESIEST American 80s music videos I have ever beheld playing in the background. The president bought us all tacos and horchata, and it was the best thing ever. The food here is delicious, and I haven't had fish yet. But more about that later...

They then took us to the Elder's apartment, because aparently he didn't feel good about putting us in a hotel. It was so sketchy. SO sketchy. I'm talking like no light in our bedroom, and when we woke up we saw blood on the window. I know. And we might have accidentally broken both toilets, the shower, and a sink while we were there. #oops. 

Tuesday we woke up, brushed our teeth without water because we weren't sure what was safe, and walked to the mission office. That's right. 9 American hermanas, mosee-ing down the streets of Villahermosa with our carry-on luggage. It was a sight to behold. And it was raining. haha Good times. 

After paper work and interviews, we got our companions!! I LOVE MY COMPAÑERA! She is wonderful. (and she says hi, by the way). Her name is Hermana Morales, and she is from Vera Cruz and therefore speaks no English. Bless her, she tries... but she knows less English than I know Spanish, so most of her "translations" are her just speaking really slow in Spanish. I do a lot of nodding in agreement, when I really still haven't a blessed idea what she said. Sometimes I forget she can speak fluently, because when she talks to me she sounds just like my other American hermanas when we try to communicate solely in Spanish. Then in a lesson, just when I'm thinking "Oh man, hermana. I have no idea what those words were. How are we going to answer him?" BAM. Rapid Spanish. I'm really glad one of us knows the langauge, because Spanish is real hard. 

Speaking of, I've already had my first breakdown. IT'S FINE. haha Really though, I'm glad it's out of the way. Yesterday we were in a meeting with the ward mission leader and this other guy (I still haven't a clue who he is) when the second guy looks at me suddenly and says, "Hermana Moser, que piense?" Well, I didn't know really what we had been talking about for the last half hour, so I said, "Yo pienso que necesito aprender mas español." As soon as the words left my mouth I was crying. It was so embarrassing. And it didn't stop for a long time because not only did these two kind hermanos try to help me, so did every member of the ward on the way out. (Did I mention how nice the people are here? They are wonderful. I love them a lot. But their kindness was super inconvenient at that point in time). THEN when we got home, Hermana Morales wanted to talk about it. I couldn't explain in Spanish what was wrong, or that the best way to get me to stop was to not talk about it. She started crying, and I was still going strong, and I eventually figured out how to say things... oy. It was difficult. Like late-night math sessions all over again.  But now it's  all good and I KNOW that if I am obedient and if I work really hard, miracles WILL happen. I am already seeing a lot of progress. It's just hard sometimes to focus on the possitive, and not how inadequate I feel. 

Hermana Morales likes to talk about feelings. How I felt in the lesson, how I feel about Spanish, how do I think the investigator felt, how I feel about the mission and mexico and her... Now I don't know if you know this, but I am TERRIBLE with feelings. Turns out, it's even harder in Spanish. So maybe that's why I have been paired with this loving hermana. Someone (ME) needs to learn how to be vulnerable and trusting. (Reminder: Ask me about how the companionships were chosen. It's a great story, but I don't think I can do it justice with my writing skills).

Well, Frontera is just a wonderful little place. The members a wonderful, but there are not many of them. The Bishop is hilarious... from what I can understand. We've eaten at their house twice now. The second time we were talking about whether or not I miss hamburguesas, and I told him that I just miss ice cream. He turned to his daughter and asked her to go get the oreo ice cream out of the freezer. Apparently, my eyes got really big when he said "ice cream" and he just thought it was the funniest thing. I can't help it if I get excited over ice cream, mmk? It's just a natural instinct! hahaha But I thought ya'll--especially dad--would get a kick out of that :)

We are teaching a couple--Agustine and Mayra--and last night I extended the baptismal invitation to Mayra!!! The first one of my whole mission! (She was also the first lesson I was ever a part of in the field. So that's awesome.) She didn't commit, but she knows it's true and I just really hope and pray that whatever doubts she has about a future in the church will be resolved. She hasn't read/prayed about the book of Mormon or Joseph Smith. A testimony of the book of mormon is SO important. We are doing everything we can think of to help her see the importance of reading and praying every day. 

hm... I don't really know what else to say. OH! How about all the weird attention I get here? You{d think these folks have never seen a white girl. Oh wait...
Seriously though, people will straight up stare as they drive past--head turn and all. And one kid my first day in the area came up and asked if he could take a picture. He through his arm around my shoulders all excited, and I thought Hermana Morales was going to have a heart attack! hahah. People will even shout "WHITE GIRL" (in spanish) as I walk by. So weird. 

It's also like the other side of heaven up in here. You know the part where he keeps slapping himself until he can't control his frustration anymore? That{s me. If I come back looking like an elephant, will you still love me? :)

Well, I'm super stoked to talk to ya'll and see your loving faces smiling back at me this week! I've been told my time to skype is around 3 pm local time (2 back home), so just make sure whatever your skyping on is charged and ready. I will call you before I get on. 
(REMINDER: La actividad de navideña) 

Alright. I love you I love you I love you!!!! 

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