“I love the scriptures!” or “Me gustan las escrituras” is rapidly overtaking “I love everything” as my favorite phrase. Though, I love everything too.
“You will suffer. And you will cry." One of the sisters who's a teacher in the MTC stopped and scolded us one night as we were walking through the lobby speaking English. Gotta practice our espanol!
“So we have five minutes to prepare.”
“Wanna talk about trucks?” This was the start to a conversation between the two elders in our district (group). They're pretty....funny, I guess.
“Apresuremos la obra." This means “We are hastening the work.” I absolutely love this phrase, and now I can say it in two languages. Jeffrey R. Holland (one of the apostles on the earth today) said that phrase a ton in a press conference about lowering the age at which missionaries can serve. An elder in the Seventy (church group of leaders) who gave us a devotional said it too. I'm here as a missionary because of that phrase, because the Lord wants more people on this earth to love and live as him.
“We all prayed before we got here, but I guess... not like this.” One of the elders in my district said this. Watching these other missionaries who have not grown up in Bloomington learn some things about diversity can be excruciating at times, but it is also absolutely wonderful to watch them rely on the Spirit as they learn Spanish and get accustomed to new things.
“TALLLLLL” This is the name of the computer program we use to practice Spanish. It says its name in a singing sound when you close out of it, so when everyone is done in the lab we pull out our headphones and it sounds like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is singing an ode to language learning in the computer lab. Gotta love the details.
“Sisters, I love my Heavenly Father, and I did not come to this earth to never see him again.” Hermana Curtis, who taught one of the meetings on Sunday, said this. She grew up a very devoted member of the Catholic Church, married a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala in her 20s, and moved to the U.S. They joined the church a few years later. She is so sassy, I love her. And that heartfelt remark just touched my heart.
I just want to bear my testimony of Jesus Christ. He lived. He lives.
He came to this earth to be exactly obedient to his father. He loves us so much. And if we apply his atonement in our lives, we can have more happiness - and a different, better kind of happiness - than we have ever had before. He gives me so much hope, and I am so grateful.
COSAS INTERESANTES (INTERESTING THINGS)
Dia del Carino (Valentine's Day) in Central America. There were many Valentine cards exchanged among the sisters, and the elders decorated the whiteboard in our classroom. We had special Valentine’s Day desserts at lunch and dinner, and there was much pleasant festivity!
Singing. It happened. When we did companion exchanges on Sunday, my companions were singing in church. They had me do it with them! It was way fun. I like singing here in Central America, because everyone just belts their heart out, and you don't have to sound so perfect. Then, later in the day (two days before the first group of ‘2 weeks’(Spanish speakers) left; oh my gosh, I love those girls!!!), several of us gathered outside the dining hall singing a children's song we'd learned in one of the church meetings. Then, someone had the idea that those of us from the U.S. should sing in English and the Latinas could sing in Spanish at the same time, so we all sang A Child's Prayer together in our different languages, and it was SO beautiful. I will never forget the smiles in everyone's eyes that minute, or the hugs I got last night when those Latina girls left. They will make great missionaries.
I still have four more weeks here, though there was quite a scare this weekend when I didn't know if I'd be leaving today or not. One of the girls in my group, the one who is good at Spanish, is going to Panama and because of some scheduling miscommunication; she ended up leaving today, after three weeks! They thought that might happen to me, but it didn't, so now I'm in a trio with the two other girls in my group. This means I get to stay to go to the temple today (!!!) and on cool P-day trips, and can meet more awesome Latina girls, and see Haley Holland when she comes tomorrow! (Though I'm not going to lie, I got really excited at the prospect of going to Reu right away.)
It got to be 60 degrees this week for a little bit, and it was so funny to watch some of the people from Central and South America. They got so cold! They actually put on scarfs and sweaters. It was cute. I would totally be like that if I was from here.
Today for P-day we got to go to a church building and play outside, and then go to a mall and see stuff. On the way, we drove on the rest of Vista Hermosa Boulevard, which goes up this big mountain. We stopped and got out of the van to take pictures. It is SO pretty! The whole city of Guatemala is spread out below in the valley, and there's the Volcan Agua in the distance. I love, love, love it! I love the climate. I love the language and Guatemala. I do not love being around so many people from Utah trying to see if they have mutual friends and talking about BYU all the time. But, basically, I love everything. Especially Guatemalan pastries. And the scriptures.
Um, …we haven't received any mail yet, but I'm sure it’s on the way. I love you all and wish you the very best! And there are a million things I'm forgetting, so just give yourself a hug from me, smile, and enjoy your gorgeous life. And snow, if you have it! Whatever February is, you can keep it. Off to the temple!