Week One Down!

It is FINALLY my Pday.
Whew. Ok. Let’s see how much I can pump out before time is up!
I love the CCM. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been learning so much! But let me tell you… it is HARD WORK! It is hard in a way I wasn’t expecting, and in a way I can’t really describe. It was really hard the first few days because I couldn’t talk to you guys whenever I wanted (thank you, technology), I’m tired all the time because we only get about 7 hours of sleep a night and then work all day long, and learning a new language is just difficult! It is really frustrating when you know exactly what you’d want to say in English to an investigator (we started teaching our investigator, Marcos, a member of the staff, our second night here. Aaaaah, right?!?) to explain a principle of the gospel but you just don’t know or can’t remember the right words to say it. However, that is why I am SO happy that the lesson doesn’t depend solely on Hermana Young y yo (I’ll tell you about my companion in minute); the spirit is the real teacher. It is amazing how we manage to get our meaning across through so few words and completely wrong conjugations and grammar. AND it is amazing how the spirit helps bring things to my remembrance!!! I’ve been studying hard and I’m finding that words are sticking in my memory like glue. They almost never did that while I was in high school. That’s the reason why you should learn by the spirit, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ While I’m talking to Marcos, the words just seem to flow out of my mouth. It really is a miracle. I know what I’m doing when it happens, but it seems like the words just come so much more easily. You really do teach BY the spirit! We’re a team! I have to do the work to learn and practice the words, and the Lord will expand my capacity, and then the spirit will help bring things to my mind in time of need. It’s amazing! I’ve felt this happen before while teachingย Sundayย School, but I have never felt the spirit work through me so strongly before in my life. I really believe that Heavenly Father is blessing me with the gift of tongues because there is no way that I could have possibly been doing that or continue to learn in such a manner all by myself. It is amazing!!!!! It’s all these really special experiences that carry me through the hard days, because those exist too. ๐Ÿ™‚
My companion is awesome!! We’re basically twins. ๐Ÿ™‚ We have both done soccer, swimming, cross country, and track. She and her family love the outdoors, and we both have so many other common interests it’s amazing!! Oh, and Mom, her Dad is one of the owners of DoTerra. He helped found the company!
Can I also just say that I love the food here? It is SO good! They work so hard to make healthy, creative meals for us every day. I love it. They also have fruit at every meal!!! Like, honeydew, watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, apples, bananas, pears, and plums!! AND they have a nutella bar!!!! I’ve heard that the CCM goes through 24 large containers of nutella a day. Crazy, right??!? Anyway, going to el comedor is one of my favorite parts of the day! ๐Ÿ™‚
Oh, there was something interesting I wanted to tell you. I told you that my Spanish is coming along well already, and it is. The other day I was thinking about how Heavenly Father is blessing me so much to learn this language and I remembered, of all things, the musical ability he has also given me. I’ve always been able to play songs on the viola and piano by ear and to replicate the way other people sing very well. I realized that this is a gift He has given me to bless my Spanish abilities as well. Many missionaries struggle with not sounding American when they speak- and most don’t even realize that they do. Heavenly Father has blessed me to pick up on little things in the way native speakers speak and replicate them when I speak Spanish. I’m really grateful for this. He really has been preparing me for this mission all along. ๐Ÿ™‚
I love gym time. Hermana Young and I have gone running a few times, but we really like playing futbol and volleyball with our district and zone. It is a blast!! That is also one of my favorite times of the day. ๐Ÿ™‚
My district is composed of: Hermanas Young, Sutherland, Miller, Thacker, Granado, Baird, and Packer, and Elders Lloyd, Coates, Patton, Montreou. I love them all!! They will all be great missionaries. ๐Ÿ™‚ We are the first district in my zone to ever have more hermanas than elders!
Oh, they also wanted me to tell you to not send packages here because I’ll be long gone by the time it gets here. So, if you feel so inclined, send it to the AZ mission home. ๐Ÿ™‚
I am running out of time really quickly. I hope you all know that I love you a lot!!! Keep reading your scriptures and praying so you can have the spirit with you! It is real and will help you so much!
Con amor,
Hermana Sutherland

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