This is Leann's email from last week.
This week was AMAZING as always. First before I forget, I'll answer some questions y'all have been asking me.
1// I have no idea when my visa will be here. None. If I get it soon, I'll go to the Peru MTC for the remaining weeks of training. But if I don't, I'll stay here for the whole 6 weeks. I love it here, and I really don't want to leave. But my Spanish would improve so much faster being immersed in it.
2// As for schedule, I'm going non stop 6:30 AM to 10:30 PM. I have 6 hours of class, three disgusting meals (except fast sunday. We just get dinner.) An hour or two of language study, a couple hours of personal study, an hour of companion study, and random district and leadership meetings thrown in between.
3// WEDNESDAY is P-day and it's the only day we're allowed to write letters, so if I don't write you back right away, it's cuz I'm trying to be obedient and I honestly have NO time.
4// our district = 6 elders, 4 hermanas. Our Zone = 3 districts. our branch = our zone. We all are learning spanish and most of us are going to peru. All the Hermanas in my district are going to Cusco, and the Elders are going to Rangagua Chile and Mcallen Texas.
During Sacrament meeting this week they were sustaining all the new zone leaders and other leaders and they had Hermana Rasmussen and I stand up to be sustained as the new Portal Coordinators. We had no idea. They just laughed and said Branch Presidents forget stuff sometimes. Like telling us we have a calling and asking if we'll accept. It's cool. We accepted obviously and now we pretty much just tell all the new districts how to use the computers and how to write the branch president and write on the board and find the videos we need during leadership meetings. WHOOT WHOOT! It's fun. I'm magnifying this calling into FLAMES (Val... remember that one time I tried to light ants on fire with your magnifying glass for an hour?)
We get a new district today! We're not greenies anymore. There's 5 new Hermanas and all of them are going to California.
Oh my goodness... Hermana Routson. We were having a conjucating race (cuz that's about as fun as we get here in the MTC) and when it was her turn, she bolted to the front of the room and didn't notice her backpack was hooked to her skirt. When she noticed, she pulled her backpack up WAY too far and we all got a little show. HAHHAa. We were dying. Hopefully the Elders have repented of what they saw. Just kidding. haha.
Elder Jessop in our district is a hardcore Parkour... er. He shows us some of the stuff he can do during gym. It's NUTS! I wish I was that cool. I let it slip that once upon a time I took Irish dance and they keep asking me to show them a jig. It's not happening until the last day, that's for sure. They think I'm lying. HA. So serious. I even had a duet once. When they see it, they'll be blown away.\
Whenever someone from our Zone leaves, it's tradition to sing God be with you til we meet again in a circle in the quad and they all go in the middle and take pictures as we sing the last verse. It hit me so hard how difficult it's going to be to leave all the people in my district. I was BAWLING just thinking about it. We're all from all over the place and we'll never see each other every day for 14 hours again. It's so sad. I've grown to love all of them like family and I hate thinking about leaving. They are so incredible... I've seen every Elder cry and their testimonies are POWERFUL. Hermana Rasmussen wasn't feeling well the other day and she asked for a blessing. Sitting there watching my second family (third if you count Val's family haha) give my companion comfort and literally HEAL her was one of the most powerful things i've ever seen. I know for a fact that the person I marry has to be a worthy priesthood holder. My kids deserve that in their lives and I won't settle for anything less. My priorites are growing to be 100% centered around Christ and I have to marry someone who feels the same way.
Throughout the week, I have been broken down, built back up, then broken down again. God knows exactly what he wants me to be, and breaking away the parts that don't fit that picture is the only way to become better. I am so excited to see how much I grown through the next 17.5 months (AH! 2 weeks down! how crazy) I'm learning for the first time how truly incredible the Atonement is. I'm learning how to love people and to listen more than I speak. I'm learning to not to shut down when I get frustrated, and to love people when I don't like them. There's an Elder that I mentioned last week that used to drive me crazy, but instead of being sarcastic towards him all the time, I decided to support him and try really hard to love him, and IT WORKED! I don't get irritated at him anymore and he really tries to be less irritating. What an amazing concept.
I wish I could tell you about all the incredible things I have been experiencing, but I have hardly any time. GaH.
Brother Hardy is one of our teachers, and I respect him so much. He knows exactly how to calm us down and bring the spirit into a lesson. Every time I walk into his class, I feel SO happy to be a missionary. He inspires us to be better. and try harder. And love more. and WORK HARD. Our other teacher knows things, but I never feel anything in his class. Just tired and bored mostly. It's kinda like I'm back in Mr. Carpenter's history class Sophomore year of High School. I'm really trying to appreciate him though.
We get to walk to the temple every Sunday and we do a session on Wednesday mornings. it is one of my favorite times of the week. We get to see nature and the buildings don't hinder our view. THIS IS NOT AN INVITATION TO COME CREEP ON ME! I'd get is so much trouble if I talked to anyone. They drill that into our brains like crazy. But um... You can still send me letters :) my address is on facebook.
My companion and I are getting along great. We talk about everything, and she lets me cry to her when I get good or bad news in a letter. I feel so lucky to have her as my first companion. We work so well together and we're not afraid to tell eachother if there's something bothering us. We have really good goals and we never talk too much about home and we go to bed on time and wake up at 6:30 (we never go to 6:00 gym because it sucks and I hate it. Don't worry though. I go on Thursday Friday and Saturday cuz it's at 8:00 pm)
We had our first chance to teach in TRC (the place where members come to talk about real problems and help us feel less like robots and more like people with actual social skills). We got to teach this adorable girl named Kristina who is a Humanities teacher at BYU. We felt soo good about that lesson. She truly needed help and we could help! It was our first taste of what the mission will really feel like. All our investigators before this had been our teachers with a fake alter ego. And not to be sexist or anything, but I like teaching girls a LOT more than boys. I can realate better. I don't know anything about sports or cars or... really anything to do with boys. We ended our lesson in English because we had a lot we wanted to say to her because she really needed help and we couldn't explain it in Spanish. I felt so good about that lesson. I'm so happy here.
I never ever ever want to take off my nametag. I love waking up in the morning and putting that on. I wear the name of Jesus Christ (more accurately Jesucristo) and I am literally his missionary. I get to do this every day for 18 months. I AM SO LUCKY! God trusts us with his children. This is more than just babysitting. This is saving souls. In the devotional yesterday they said "No war has ever been free of risk" THIS IS WAR! Satan is so angry that we decided to go on missions. He is trying so hard to keep all those people with calls from coming to the MTC. He works on the missionaries here to keep them from getting to the field. He wants people in the field to come home early. He wants missionaries to become inactive when they get home. HE WANTS US TO LOSE. He is not going to stop trying to defeat us until he wins. We cannot let him win. We have to literally ENDURE TO THE END. Fight against him. Do everything Satan would not want us to do. Go to church, say your prayers, read your scriptures. I PROMISE if you do this with a sincere heart, Satan will NOT win.
Okay... I'll step out of missionary mode for a second. Lo Siento.
To everyone who emailed me: I took pictures of your email and will be writing you a real letter today sometime. I didn't have enough time to respond in an email.
Brandon: Thanks for the package! I've been craving twizzlers like crazy all week. you saved me.
Brittany: will you please send that striped shirt you said I left at Mom's? And I miss your faces :( please send pictures when you can. I need to show all my friends your beautiful family and PICTURES OF VAL and Ace :)
Mom: HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! I can't call cuz I'm in the MTC and apparently there's too many of us. What a good problem to have :) I'll be able to call at the Airport when I fly to peru, so watch out for an email about when that will be. I'll send you a letter and hopefully it gets there in time :)
I love you all! I'm out of time.