Hopefully you didnt think i had neglected writing on purpose my first week and a half in Colombia. and excuse my punctuation or lack thereof because i dont know how to use this spanish keyboard. you my have heard of a cultural quirk called latin time (india time, africa time, etc). it is something common to other countries where the american concept of meticulous scheduling and prompt punctuality and time management is nonexistent. and even things here at the mtc are affected. often classes dont start for 20 minutes or more after they are supposed to, the schedule is constantly changing, and pday was abruptly changed to the end of the week. apparently next week it is on tuesday, but that is apt to change i have heard from the other north americans, so we´ll see, but write me back before than haha.
So things here have been crazy of course. every day is busy with class after class of spanish or learning gospel principles or how to do things like planning with a companion. and then interspersed are random devotionals. honestly one of the hardest things for me has been trying to even find quiet time to feel close to god when we are always bustling to the next class and it is noisy and of course NEVER being away from companions. also so difficult (although i am learning to love them) being in a district consisting of eight 18 year old boys who just graduated high school and can be so very annoying. i am in a trio, and we are the only girls in our district. it has been a big huge struggle at times. one of my companions does not want to be here. after finding out how hard it was she broke down on the second day and said she had just come for an exotic travel experience. so after a drama filled 5 days involving the mission president she called her parents and told them she was coming home, but they told her she was not welcome. so now she is here against her will and she doesnt want to try to do spiritual things or learn spanish. and since you are supposed to do everything as a team with your companions it has obviously been extremely difficult. i am sad i didnt come with the group right before me, there are INCREDIBLE girls who are all going to the santa cruz mission who are all so strong and positive. but i guess its what God wants for me. my other biggest struggle is spanish. PLEASE pray for me to be able to learn. i am one of the only people who has had no high school or college spanish. it has been overwhelming and frustrating (especially with the scheduling being so disorganized at times). and i am especially frustrated because even some of the kids with barely any spanish have a gift to just hear and understand so quickly. i can read tons, but i just cannot distinguish words enough to even understand my teachers when they speak in spanish. and starting monday they are pretty much going to be speaking only spanish... However, i memorize things quickly, and we have been proselyting twice in the streets of Bogota which is exciting!! my other companion can speak and understand spanish actually very well, but she is a little shy 19 year old and is scared of talking to people, and i have no fear in that department, so i go right up to people and say what i can, mostly about god loving us and how he sent his son and called joseph to translate the book of mormon and if they want to have one bla bla. and she translates (sort of) what they are responding haha.
our morning teacher is one of my favorite people in the whole world i have ever met, hermana mendivelso. she is colombian and her whole family was recently converted. she is one or two years older than me, and served her mission on temple square. she is literally alight with the spirit, and joy, and confidence all the time and i want to be her. her testimony is so powerful. she learned to speak fluent english on her mission, and she has been the one person i have been able to confide in here with my companion struggles and coping with mtc life. she was my companion the first time we went proselyting, and i was stumbling and stuttering, and at one point just said, lo siento mi espanol es mal, paro yo se que este mensaje es verdadero. which sketchily means sorry my spanish is bad but i know this message is true. she hugged me and told me she is so proud of me. she has been such an encouragement. well i do not have much time, but so far although this is so hard and i feel so inadequate and times and lost about spanish, i could not imagine not being here. already i can feel myself changing, and the insights into the gospel i have received so far have been incredible. if you can, watch elder bednars mtc devotional called the characteristics of christ. you may be able to find it online. it talks about how our gospel is about the example of christ, and he in every way turned outward, while our natural inclination as humans is to turn inward. we think that by turning inward we will find ourselves, through exotic travel or yoga and meditation haha or whatever. but really its by turning ourselves completely outward, serving others, losing ourselves in the outward where ironically we will find ourselves. i want that to be me. thank you guys for all your letters. i love you all so much. sorry that i do not have much time to write. my testimony is growing here, i feel peace here, and i am working on my path towards full conversion so that God can use me in his way. i will hopefully respond to you on tuesday!