How are you all doing? I was meaning to ask how Gabriel is doing with Prom and everything. How is his ASL? I am so happy to hear Jesse's great news. I pray for him often before I go to bed. I pray for all of you. I am so happy to know Jesse is receiving the sacerdocio (priesthood) and memorized the articles of faith!!!! Speaking of ASL, I have been teaching a few of the sisters some signs. I even met an elder here who does Colombian sign language. It was pretty neat.
10 days go by so fast. Can you believe that I will be getting a Latin compañera this next wednesday?! I am freaking out because my spanish is still a struggle..I even struggle speaking english now. I can not remember how to spell investigadores in English.....My time here is going by so fast. I cannot even imagine myself in Bolivia. This week we were able to go to the temple again. I love it so much! 8 of the Elders here were able to get endowed all at the same time during our session. It was so precious.
A group of primary kids came to the CCM and sang to us. It was SOOOOOO PRECIOUS. It made all of the sisters cry because it was EXACTLY what we needed. They sang I hope they call me on a mission in spanish. It was so adorable. The children are beautiful here. They helped us remember our purpose.
I am seriously trying to accept the fact that I am the only Asian here. Everyone here keeps trying to understand how on earth is it possible for me to be from North America. Oh here is a joke that my teacher had to say in front of our whole district. So he was telling one of the elders that he saw that he was sleeping during the session, and then he was like, "Well when Hermana Santeco sleeps, you can't tell if she is sleeping because of her eyes"...... -______- The fact that everyone in my district is white besides one elder and the brazilians, its different. I miss diversity.
We talked about how the CCM is so much like the celestial kingdom and when we leave to the field, we go to the terrestial kingdom...the real world. But really though. To be inside these gates all day.......its kind of suffocating.
To be honest, this week has been REAL HARD. Its frustrating when I would be teaching and I can not understand what the investigador is saying. Therefore I would not know how to respond. Besides I do not know how to respond in spanish either...but I know it will come. I have learned that when the adversity gets tougher, I need to work harder. We watched a video of missionaries who were teaching a family that eventually got sealed in the temple. It was so heart warming to know that I would be changing lives. They taught me that even that you know that you can not speak your mission language, all you really want to do is help your investigadores. We also watched 17 Miracles. Such an awesome movie. It inspired me to pray harder and believe that God will answer my prayers (Moroni 10:3 to 5). One night a FAT mosquito (mosquitoes here are huge and ugly) was swarming around me while I was sleeping. So I hid under my covers and prayed to God (Please take this mosquito away from me so I can sleep and get some rest for tomorrow so I can teach well). Then it went away.....it WENT AWAY! Little miracles do happen in my day :).
So I totally thought that I wouldn't see a Polynesian for 18 months but guess what. There is an elder here who is from Salt Lake, Utah. His name is Elder Nuusa! He's Samoan and he totally gets me when it comes to talking about home. We crack some jokes like "Mahana you ugly" that no one else here understands.
Driving here is crazy. The people here don't drive normal. They kind of drive how people do in the Philippines. Two lanes made into 4 lanes. Tail gating the whole way. We went out to prostelyte yesterday. It was hard....but a good experience. We had one of the teachers come with me and my compañera Hermana Wingate. We got 4 referrals. We contacted about 15 people. We went up to one lady and we asked her what her name was and she was like, "Why do you need my name?! You don't need to know my name!" and she walked away.......hahaha it was so strange. We know that Jesus Christ got rejected by many as well so we were able to take it. Hermana Wingate and I got a new compañera to join us as a trio. Her name is Hermana Alves. She is from Brazil! She is such a sweetheart. She is learning spanish so fast. We teach really well as a trio. They have been so kind to me.
The weather here is so cool. Its always about 20 degrees celesius. I eat tons of food. I always eat ALL of food now and sometimes go for seconds. I never ate so much bread before until I got here. I eat it everyday.
This week is so hard because I can not seem to speak as fast as I wish I could. The teachers here could see that I have been struggling. Today one of our teachers had me act as an investigador in front of the class. She shared with me a scripture, Alma 26:26-27. If you read it I think you would know why I bawled in front of the whole district. After prostelyting and being rejected by many people because they either were not patient enough with my lack of skill to speak spanish or who just cold hearted was so heart breaking. I had one man read two paragraphs of the B.O.M introduction and after he read it for a few seconds he got up and just walked away. My teacher was telling me about this scripture and was expressing to me that God loves me so much and wants me to be patient with myself. That He knows that I am struggling, but doesn't want me to lose hope.
One of the sisters here learned how to speak English from reading the ENTIRE Book of Mormon in English. A missionary promised here that if she read the BOM in english, that she would receive the gift of tongues. It was really inspiring to know that. She is the sweetest too. One day I was having a hard time with one of my companions (we are okay now) that I broke into tears. She came up to me and hugged me and told me that she is sad when she sees me sad. I just love how all the missionaries here have the love of Christ.
I had to say the prayer in spanish in Sacrament. It was nerve wrecking. I never felt so nervous to pray.....but I did it.
Since this week has been pretty rough, we had a stress management class. It was pretty interesting because they made us run and hop in skirts. I have no idea why. Sometimes they make us do things with no reason....its funny though.
I got my first letter a couple days ago! I was sooooo HAPPY! It was from Sister Brown. It brightened up my day sooooo much.
So.....my bag is breaking. Its frustrating how everything I have is breaking. If you can hold off in sending me the package until I realize what else I need, that would be great. I can be patient.
My next Pday is tuesday. I will be going on a field trip to go sight seeing in Colombia! So excited! Then I will have a Latin Compañera....ahhhhh!
This mission is so hard. But I know I can do this. I love you all so much. I miss you terribly.
Oro todas los dias que ustedes puedan sentir el amor de Dios. Yo se que Jesucristo les ama. Les amo mucho.
Siempre con amor,