Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week 6: Last Week in the CCM Completed

You know, I thought the last goodbye I would have to say would be to my family and friends. I stand corrected because I just realized that in each area, you find a new "family" and more friends to say goodbye to at the end of 6 weeks and the cycle repeats. Yesterday was an emotional roller coaster. It started with a great relief society meeting and then straight to our district meeting where we had a devotional, which was a testimony meeting. This thing was a sob fest, we were all just crying out eyes out. It was bad, then we continued to sacrament meeting where the closing hymn was "God be with you till we meet again", cool, the crying just continued. We then you know took a million pictures and such and then before you know it, it's 9 30 and Elder Hanks and Elder Hill are getting ready to catch the bus to go to the airport for equador. This was so much harder than I thought it would be, especially since I couldnt hug them, that was oddly hard for me considering Im not a touchy person at all. So we stayed right until the bus drove away. We all had a little more sob going on. We then woke up at 3 to say goodbye to Elder Neal, Elder Spiker, Elder Tyson and Elder Williams as they went to go to the airport for TN and Bolivia. But our goodbye with them was fast, which made me happy because Elder Neal was probably my best Elder friend here and apparently he cried when he read the letter I wrote him (I wrote them all letters as a loving District "sister") so I was glad to not prolong that goodbye. The rest of us leave within the next 16 hours. Elder Abarca and Elder Durrant leave for Equador at 10 tonight and then the remainder of us (Elder Hansen, Elder Mastergeorge, Hermana Lister) leave for the airport at 3 in the morning tomorrow. Were going to be exhausted but I am so eager to get out there and teach.
I dont know if I told you about the lesson a few weeks ago about "leaving the garden of Eden" in order to grow, but thats exactly whats happening to us. Were leaving the garden, yet again, breaking through our comfort zone, and I am terrified. We are supposed to contact while were at the airport and my spanish is just still not there. I know the Lord will bless me though, I just pray for a companion to be patient with me and who has the desire to help me with my spanish. I need that.
I dont know if ill have a P day this week, I am just allowed to email today for the sake of relaying the message that Im leaving tomorrow, so mom or dad expect a 3 in the morning phone call. I wish I had more exciting news to bear but I think that me leaving Mexico is a huge deal! Not a whole lot else has happened since Thursday, but be prepared for a long one next week. I love you guys and pray for you all nightly. Keep the faith and do what is right.
Hermana Groves

The "SUU crew" Elder Spiker, Elder Hanks, Me

The SUU crew plus Elder Hilll wanting to join

Elder Hanks and Elder Hill who just left for Equador

Our friends from the branch

Elder Josh Bolton from Cedar City and his companion (not allowed to take single pictures with the elders)

Our district with Hermana Saucedo, my loving teacher

Hermana Lister and I and Hermana Saucedo

Hermana Saucedo and I

Elder Fisher(friend from SUU) me and his companion

Me with our branch President Sueste and his wife

Me and his wife

District and Hermana Bair

Us with presidente Flores (branch presidency)

Me and Hermano Guttierez another one of our teachers, doesnt speak a lick of english

 and again

Elder Spiker, me and Elder Neal

Elder Mastergeorge, me, and Elder Hansen

Hermana Meanea from Cedar City! Its her first week here

Pictures from Week 5

Last week in the CCM

Hola my favorite people!
How has your week been? Everything you hoped it to be? Great! We just got back from the temple but my week was pretty busy(don't worry, I'm in a better mood this week, sorry for the depressing stuff last week) here´s some good news. On friday I finally got my package. Praise heavens. Haha But seriously, the goldfish made my day and I have yet to open the pretzels because I'm saving them for a rainy day.

Where to begin? This week (on Sunday) was independence day in Mexico so on Saturday we had a ¨Mexican Fiesta¨ which you are probably wondering how we do so when missionaries aren't allowed to associate with the opposite sex, dance, listen to music and eat food outside the comedor. BUT luckily we were fortunate enough to have some dancers come and dance for us. It was pretty cool, I mean it was the first time I had ever seen a traditional Mexican dance and it was the first time I heard a traditional mexican song, also it was the first time we were allowed to be somewhat irreverent. The natives had a field day, they were going wild. Then on Sunday night we were required to stay out passed lights out to watch the president recite something. The only thing I understood was we were supposed to yell "VIVA!!" (live) whenever he said something. Obviously I just followed the crowd on this one. As a side note I played the piano in our zones sacrament meeting this week and I was terrified out of my mind.

My district also sang in the Tuesday night devotional and us personally sounded horrible, BUT the other districts combined with ours were great. The devotional was about the importance of the members and the missionaries working together as one. So guys, help the missionaries. Also this week while teaching one of our investigators I lead the discussion so high five to me because no one else knew what was going on! Haha oh well. You gotta learn somehow!

This is a moment my mom and grandma´s will hopefully be proud of (fingers crossed). One of the cleaning people moved a suitcase of Elder Tyson´s and basically ripped the front pocket (but not really pocket) of it off. He tried taping it so it wouldn't stay. I being the district mother I am (I am literally so sad that I am now defined as the mother) volunteered to try and hand sew it. Well, I did and it looks freaking awesome. So high five to me. Its sturdy enough to last him to Bolivia and hopefully after that. He was really grateful for it but also wanted to try sewing it with a shoelace. He literally stabbed holes in his suitcase and threaded a shoelace through it. I honestly don't know why boys do the things they do. But honestly I felt so accomplished and pretty proud of myself. Obviously it want professional, but it was dang good for a first-ish time.

So remember that one time I told you about the spin the bottle game? Well they gave it a new twist. If you got the sentence you were making up in bad grammar the other end of the bottle got to command you to do something. WELL. I fully regret making Elder Hill go sing in another class because he sook revenge and I had to dance/act like a monkey for a whole minute, in the hallway of our classroom building. They timed it. I actually gained a lot of respect from the elders but none the less the whole building thinks I'm a freak now.

Yesterday in TRC we didn't have any members show up again so we had to teach one another. After Hermana Lister and Elder Mastergeorge had rock paper scissors for five minutes who got to go first Elder Mastergeorge thought it would be cool if we split up companionships. So he taught with Hermana Lister and I taught with Elder Hansen. It was interesting and I'm pretty sure we broke the rules but shhhh no one has to know.

I'm also not sure if I ever told you about Elder Barnes? He was one of the 2 elders I flew here with and the first few weeks we basically became best friends. He lives in the same casa as my elders so he asked one of them to get my email because apparently he has a crush on me. Well he stopped talking to me after that so I was kinda sad. All the missionaries going to Chile left today because the transfers in their mission is all messed up. I wanted to say goodbye to him last night at dinner but I asked some friends I made from my casa (in his district, Hermana Porter and Hermana Muhan) if they thought that was a good idea and they thought so, apparently he wasnt going to go to dinner until they told him I was going to go talk to him, well he was so nervous that he left dinner before I talked to him. His hermanas were all writing the elders who were leaving notes so they told me to just write him a letter to tell him goodbye. I did. I basically told him that it was uncool of him to just avoid me but that I know hes gonna be a good missionary and to write me and stuff. The sisters doorbell ditched the elders and left the notes there last night. Apparently Elder Barnes had a excitement fit when he saw I wrote him a letter, he felt way bad and was hurrying to get his stuff packed so he could come say goodbye before our bus left to the temple. But if he didn't make he left a message with my elders (by the way the WHOLE house my district and his read that note). So we were sitting on the bus to go to the temple and the bus literally starts to pull away and he is right there on the sidewalk. He missed it. Haha he felt so bad I could tell. The elders told me that he was sorry and he was gonna write me and miss me and all this crazy stuff. It made me smile, but I was laughing so hard. I guess its hard being so great. Bahah!

 So yeah, that was my week. Haha I hope your week was good, thanks for writing me! I love you all!
Hermana Groves

Friday, September 13, 2013

Meeting Hermana Suaste

This is a picture from last week when we met with out branch presidents wife, Hermana Suaste, she taught us about femininity and keeping modest in the mission. It was all in spanish but I got the gist of it. I also volunteered to play the piano because none of the other sisters could, Presidente mentioned me being able to play so now I'm afraid I'm playing in sacrament meeting. The Hermanas in the picture we befriended and loved them. Hermana LeBlanc, Hermana Taylor, me, Hermana Suaste, Hermana Blankinshiff, Hermana Phipps, and Hermana Lister. These girls were in our branch and just left. It was really a heartbreaker for us because we have to start at square one again and make friends to sit with at dinner. The Elders have it so easy, they can sit with each other every meal, but lucky for the no opposite gender at the same table we have to start fresh every time our friends leave. We also made friends with their district so it was an emotional day, saying goodbye to them.

Week 4?

Honestly that question mark is there for a reason because I think I have been here for 4 weeks and that this is my 5th. This week was by far the hardest week I have endured in the CCM. I don't want this to be a complaining letter, but it may very well be. So I apologize in advance. 

On Friday I was struck with some sort of stomach flu. I woke up at probably 2 30 and threw up for the first time that day (which continued about....13 or so more times throughout the day) by about 10 I had enough strength to walk over to the clinic and make sure I wasn't dying from some weird mexican disease, I wasn't. I think the doctor doubted my sickness because I walked in just fine, that of course was before I threw up in the office. So he believed me then. He then drove us back to our casa cause he could see that I was obviously not up to walk 3 blocks back. Hermana Lister was then given the okay to go to class when I got to lie in agony for the remainder of the day. There was a point were I was having a hysterical sob fest and at one point I do remember screaming, yes i repeat, screaming "My body is going to kill me. I'm going to kill myself from the inside out." luckily all the girls in my house were in class because that is so embarrassing and pretty melodramatic, but basically I was in a lot of pain and couldn't even keep my spit down, no lie. That night I got up the energy to go to the classroom for the elders to give me a blessing. You know, I may say a lot about these elders but when they need to practice their priesthood authority they are there and they are worthy. I was given a priesthood blessing and it was really good, i quickly returned to bed after the walk back.

For the next few days I was able to go to class/church but I wasnt up to full energy, I was still getting really tired walking to and from places. And more than half of the time just the smell of the cafeteria was making me nauseous. The whole weekend I basically ate rolls and fruit. Holla, it was fine.

I have been feeling really discouaraged as well, I just feel the language isnt coming and my knowledge of the gospel has gone blank. This past 5 days I have honestly thought of just coming home. I'm not coming home. But I've thought about it, a lot. But I'm pretty sure the Lord needs me here. He's made it clear in multiple ways. 

In relief society Hermana Pratt (the CCM presidents wife) based her lesson off of a quote by Gordon B. Hinkley "Never permit yourself to become a weak link in the chain of your generation" and another saying "when you save a girl you save generations. That was a little kick in the pants. Because I am being weak, I am thinking that me leaving or me faking sick to come home wont do anything to anyone. Thats a lie. The choices I make right now will effect me and more importantly it will affect the future children that I will raise. And it is so selfish of me to think it wont touch anyone. Still, deep down I was a little discouraged. So I prayed to know why I'm here and my prayer was answered in a different way than I was expecting. 

Yesterday while we were teaching one of our investegators, York, he asked us why we decided to serve missions and the words just came out of my mouth. I told him that I was given trials in my life and I found comfort, reassurance, and hope in my gospel and relying on my Savior and on my Heavenly Father, I told him how much joy I find in the gospel and living the commandments and I cant help but want to share it with the world, I want others to feel the joy that I feel from knowing what I know about my purpose and why I want to make good choices, because I know what is there for me in the afterworld. 

Also, this morning during my personal study I read in Alma. You should all read Alma 26. I think this is my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon. But more specifically read Alma 26:12 and Alma 29:9 and tell me what you think of them. I really loved reading them and they made me smile so big. I know that the beginning of my letter was kinda depressing and I'm sorry for that but I don't think that I would have appreciated these scriptures or the lesson if I had not felt that sickness and that sadness. The gospel is true, God is our comforter and through him we find strength, Jesus Christ atoned for our sins so we can return to live with he and our Father in heaven again. 

I am so grateful for the support of such great friends and family back home, every week I open my email to find so much love and support. My district also hates me because I have recieved mail every day this week (not my package from you mom but its in mexico city and I should get it by Monday) but thank you Grandma LeAnn, Alex, Shayla and Staci, every letter I recieved this week contained words I needed to hear. I love you all so much! I hope you have a great week! Sorry If I dont reply to all of your emails, I was running low on time this morning. 

Tell Tara congrats on her call, Mexico is lucky to have her! 

You´re in my prayers. 

Love always,
Hermana Groves

Some Pictures from Week 3

Hermana Groves, Hermana Bair, and Hermana Lister 

New Friendz

Hermana Groves' District with their teacher, Hermana Bair

A more clear picture of the district and Hermana Bair

Week 3

Well if it hasn't been 7 days.Oh the people who are dear to me, this week has been pretty basic? Haha I don't know what else to say except it was pretty average. We've basically been the homeless "family" aka district because we have been moving from available classroom to available classroom due to our broken door and our dwindling patience for the constant wind and mosquitoes. Basically I'm becoming friends with all of the bugs because we hang out together all day every day. The food is actually growing on me. The other day I literally was craving a meal I had here (no not pizza) and guess what, it wasn't food you would necessarily fight for. The food isn't changing, but my tastebuds are.

My spanish is not coming so hot. I'm learning a little, but i think I'm losing more knowledge. My english spelling/words are disappearing! help me. haha Hermana Lister and I made some friends with some sisters in our district and they are hilarious. Hermana Taylor, Hermana Phipps, Hermana LeBlanc and Hermana Blankinstaff(something like that) keep us on our toes at meals and during gym. Weve actually come to love their district more than ours because their elders actually talk to us opposed to ours, who only talk to us when they need a tie breaker (like who is the better athlete or team) so usually I dont get talked to much because my professional sport knowledge is very limited. I was almost shunned from the district for not having a football team (thanks mom and dad ;) Actually scratch that, in every addition of "Late night with Elder Hill" they always ask me for the feminine perspective on things. So at least they think I'm a girl. As far as fun goes, we were learning commands yesterday and Hermana Saucedo had this game for us that was probably the funniest thing ever. It was like a combination of truth or dare/spin the bottle (no kissing but you literally had to spin the bottle) so you spin the bottle and the end with the lid pointing the person gets to give a command (basically a dare) to the person on the other end of the bottle. It was hilarious. They were commanding each other to sing hymns to other districts and dance like monkeys. I was literally crying I was laughing so hard. Oh the little joys of the 1 fun thing we do a day ;) haha I don't think I have anymore fun news..
This past weekend Hermana Listers great grandpa passed away, she got to call her parents and her grandma. I was kinda jealous, but under those circumstances I would have rather not gotten to call my family. It was really hard on her, I know it, but still she doesnt really open up to me, so I just had to read her face for an answer. But I knew that she was going to be okay, as members of the church it is such a blessing to know that after death we will live again. That is a principle that I am so excited to teach in the field. Its so reassuring to know that we will see our loved ones again after life. I am grateful to have this knowledge.

Today we went to the temple and it was such a humbling experience, I know my spanish is bad, but just having the spirit with you and answering your prayers in the house of the Lord is a huge blessing. Last week or so we had a lesson on specific prayers and this week I really applied it to my life. I started my morning and nightly prayers with the thought "what if what you prayed about yesterday were the only things you had left today?" Try this. It will make your prayers more sincere and also it will bring you closer to the Lord. This week my prayers have been so long just because I have been naming off the people in my life. I have literally named off every family member (including cousins spouses and extended family like that) every friend I ever had, my house, good food. Literally everything I did not want to lose the next day. It was an eye opener and really made me grateful for all the amazing people I have in my life. I am truly blessed. My gratitude today is through the roof. I am feeling a constant feeling of comfort and I really just cannot stop thinking about how blessed I am. I love you all and hope you are having a great week. I have sent out over 30 letters and Im convinced not 1 of them have been received yet. Because it takes so long to get here don't send any mail here after this Thursday. I love you and hope to hear from you soon!

Love always,

Hermana Groves