I GOT MY TRAVEL PLANS!!!!!!!! And just you wait...
Reporting to the travel office here on campus at... 4 a.m.
Flight from SLC at 7:05 to LAX; flight from LAX at 1:45 to Santiago CHILE (arriving in Chile at 3:00a.m. our time, 7:00am Chilean time). Then, taking a flight from Santiago to Concepcion at 8:45 am
So ... YEAH! I'm going to be in LAX for like 6 hours! I'm going to go INSANE! Trapped in a terminal for six hours, less than 2 hours away from home, in beautiful, sunny, warm California. BUT looking on the bright side that gives me a lot of time to call home! :) It's going to be quite an adventure!!!! Especially since we'll be "on the road" for over 24 hours
So this week it is actually warm and beautiful here in Provo, the sun is out and the flowers are all blooming. Last P-day it snowed 5 inches... there's been quite turnaround weather wise.
This week has been super long and pretty tough! But there are always things to be happy about and things to laugh at, which is a blessing to me because I love to laugh; it makes life so much easier!
For example, this week while our district was all playing volleyball together…
[OMGOSH! I’m going to go nuts & I can't concentrate because there are some sisters practicing Chinese out loud on their computer program, sitting behind me and it is SOOOO... uhh, INTERESTING... it makes me appreciate Spanish all the more! LOL]
…anyway, and Elder Criman was trying to pass the ball under the net from our side back to the other team (because it had gone way out of bounds on our side) and when he chucked it (from the back row on our side) he ended up BEANING the kid in front of him - RIGHT smack in the back of the head with the volleyball! THEN before the Elder could turn around to see who did it, Elder Criman turned around to face the missionaries in line for the four-square court behind us and through his arms out to his sides, gesturing toward them like, "WHAT THE HECK IS YOUR PROBLEM?!!?! Who would do such a thing?!" The whole court busted up laughing and I was laughing SO hard that a fell on the floor, like I couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard! I mean, I was standing RIGHT there, front row seat status!
One of our Elders left this week, Elder Lawrence, (who was originally supposed to go to the Columbia MTC but his visa was delayed) finally got it last week and left early Monday morning. We miss him a lot! He was kind of the class clown, always made us crack up! Before he left, all of us sisters got together and made him a giant candy poster on a broken down giant card board box we salvaged from the cardboard bin on our floor, and we got all our candy and things by raiding the "sharing shelves" on every floor of our residence hall, it was hilarious! ..and an adventure just to make it! It was probably the coolest, funniest candy poster I have ever made, AND it didn't cost us a penny!
I gave my first talk in Spanish this last Sunday. The way Sacrament meeting goes is: every week we are all supposed to prepare a talk and no one knows who is going to speak that week until sacrament meeting. This last week, the Branch Presidency called me and another Elder in the district (who has been here longer than us). It was pretty nerve racking but cool at the same time! I never would have guess that I’d be able to give a 3-5 minute talk in Sacrament meeting 4 weeks into the MTC. Speaking of 4 weeks, I can't believe I've been here for a MONTH! At the same time though, it feels like I've been here for years! (Not in a bad way though!) 1 month down 17 to go! Making progress! :))) Being a missionary is awesome!
A couple of my friends reported to the MTC this week! And guess what, Sister (Elise) Harrison (from home) is in my ZONE!!!! Her classroom is literally next door to mine! We are both super excited about it! It's really great to see her and to get to talk and catch up with someone from home.
Like I said earlier, this week has been really tough, everyday feels like 3 days, but somehow at the end of the week I'm always like, where in the world did the week go??? Toward the beginning of the week I was really struggling with feeling kind of homesick and being really short-tempered. After a lot of prayer and talking to Hermana Jeanfreau (one of my teachers) about it, Heavenly Father has helped me realize that what is really going on is that He is trying to teach me some things right now. It's kind of funny though, because before my mission, I had this idea that change just came NATURALLY when you are on a mission, but I'm really starting to realize that change is JUST as hard (if not harder) being on a mission. You REALLY have to WORK for it and humble yourself and just pray continually for strength and guidance. All the effort is more than worth it though. Change comes slowly and according to how much effort you are willing to put in; but I have also learned that as long as I am doing my very best and leaning on/trusting in the Lord, he will make up the rest and help me find joy in the journey and beauty in the struggle... like climbing a mountain ;)