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Monday, August 24, 2015

Time, Tornados and teaching

Thanks for your emails this week, the combination of Mom, Dad, and Lauren's emails and a letter from Josh really made my week. Mom, I haven't gotten the skirt yet, but I am sure it's waiting for me at the mission office. We're going over there a little later today for a zone talent show haha. So I'll get it then probably, and if it's not there, we have new missionary training (that's me) on Wednesday. This week has been cooler, the high today is like 65. So anytime you want to send that box of winter stuff it probably can't come too soon. 

Ok, what is it with the roads here?! The on ramp off ramp thing is insane!

Last Monday, I forgot a story I wanted to tell you. We ended up taking to a couple of Muslims in the park last week, and I really enjoyed learning more about them and answering their questions too. They weren't really interested in changing, just curious mostly, but the thing that made me laugh was the lady who would look at me with the "you poor child, your soul is lost" face. We actually get that face relatively often.

This last week, we spent half of Tuesday, all of Wednesday, and half of Saturday at home because Hna Scholl was sick. Who knew that Hna Wynne at the MTC was good practice for the field! I tend to go to hyperdrive when I've been stuck inside for multiple days. One of the days, I cleaned basically the whole apartment, caught up on my journal writing, did a couple other random things, got so much done. It was great for about the first three hours. It's all good though, we are healthy again. I was only sick on Sunday. We didn't do a ton this week because of that, and so this week feels like it didn't even exist. 

On the days we did go out, we did some cool stuff. On Monday, we went and played soccer as a district for p day and checked out one of the little Hispanic malls on Lake Street in Minneapolis. They are just a bunch of random tiendas, the culture shock is still settling in for me. On Tuesday morning we had zone conference, and it was exactly what I needed after last week. Sister Forbes talked about how we can be completely obedient if we choose one thing to work on at a time, and like I said last week, I was feeling overwhelmed because being a missionary is hard (who knew). The whole conference was about finding people to teach and the things we can use to help us. It really refueled my fire to teach and meet people. This week I have been a lot better about talking during lessons, talking to people at church, talking in general. It was amazing how much more I could understand at church yesterday than my first Sunday here. At zone conference, Elder and Sister Graff (Grandma and Grandpa Andrus' neighbors) talked to us about food and gaining weight. Let me just say that a food reformation is in order. 

Thursday, we had a zone service activity at Minnehaha park, we also went to the falls, aka the one man made water fall because there are no mountains here therefore waterfalls don't exist, but it was still fun. I think service is my favorite part of being a missionary so far. After service we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch, obviously the Elders' idea, but the burger was good. 

Friday we had dinner with Roger, a recent convert of almost a year. Let me tell you about Roger. He's only one of the coolest people ever. English was his first language, and then he moved to Puerto Rico where his parents are from. Grew up there, worked in Buenos Aires for a while, moved back here, retired because he saw that money wasn't getting him anywhere, (basically he was thinking about being a monk for a while) and now he basically just helps out the church as much as he can. He loves missionaries, so he takes one of the sets of missionaries out probably three or four times a week. And is always doing nice stuff for us, like bringing us soup and medicine when we're sick. Like four tubs of soup, a box of breadsticks, and two things of NyQuil. Amazing. 
Roger came with us to both our lessons that night. In one of the lessons, I had probably my best teaching moment since I've been out. We were talking about grace and how we don't need to be perfect, and Roger turned to me and asked something about how we develop more faith. I actually gave a fairly eloquent response about the cycle of obedience and faith and the spirit was there and everything. Both Hna Scholl and Roger mentioned it afterward about how perfect it was. It was neat to feel comfortable for a second. 

Saturday morning, we had breakfast with Hna Yaya, she's from Costa Rica, and my goodness it was good. Bread and sausage and potatoes, and juice and hot chocolate, and wait for it.... fried eggs. I ate them. And I actually kind of enjoyed it. I know your minds are exploding. She also told me that I look like a Barbie. Saturday night we had a lesson, and during the lesson it was storming sooooo hard! There was a tornado warning and everything! What do you even do during a tornado? I don't even know. 

Ok I'm almost done. Sunday, yesterday, like I said, I understood waaay more and I even initiated a couple of conversations. The members are nice to me and talk slowly and are cool to repeat things if I need them to. I really appreciate it. Church is so funny though. Like hilarious. First of all, singing hymns is so different. There is definitely like a mariachi almost yelling thing that happens. So funny. And less funny, it surprises me how few of the members are endowed. The vast majority have not been to the temple. It just creates a different atmosphere and calls for a different dress code at church, especially for the women. Also, Mexican stereotypes are real. When we go out to knock doors, we look specifically for Christmas lights in August, any holiday decoration that doesn't fit the time of year, cases of  bottled water, shoes left outside, etc. It's real. 

Last thing, This week Hna Scholl and I have gotten to know each other a little better, and I wanted to share, just so you can understand how different we are. Also to prove that you don't have to like the same things to get along. Hna Scholl was homeschooled up until college, she took five years of Latin, when I saw her run, I'll be real, I almost laughed out loud, she loves folk dance with a passion, and went to a concert almost every week at BYU. We graduated high school the same year. We have very different lifestyles, and different ideas of what a good lesson looks like. 

This week has been a lot better. Thanks for your support, this would be impossible without an awesome family. I took lots of notes this week, how do you feel about the longer email? 
Besos gorditos!

Love, Emily

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