Friday, April 4, 2014

Letter #3

What up what up!?!?

Ok so yeah I know it seems like you guys JUST heard from me, but because of General Conference this weekend our P-Day got moved toThursday night which thank the freaking heavens because this week has been... a struggle. (But in a good way of course.) 

So where to begin? I don't even know.....

Like I said this week has been more of a struggle. Maybe I'll start off with the hard things this week and then end off on a positive note with the really good things that happened? Sounds good to me. 

The Hard Things:
First of all the other district in our zone left to Mexico last week and so we now only have the 6 of us girls in a zone and no one knows when or if we will be getting new missionaries. Because all of the Elders left to Mexico I got booted up to being Zone leader. Now at first I didn't think it was going to be so bad, other than the unfortunate fact my peaceful Sunday's are now jammed packed with meetings.... but wanna know what happened the week I got made Zone leader? EVERY SINGLE GIRL either had a mental breakdown, companionship problems, or got sick. 
Kill me. 

After all of the interviewing and consoling and listening....I guess its safe to say I am 100 percent exhausted and pretty much emotionally drained.  

BUT.... you know how they always say, "serving others helps you with your own problems" ? Its true. Talking with everyone has either put my problems into perspective, made me SO grateful for the problems I don't have, or have comforted me knowing that others feel and are struggling the same way I am. So yes its been hard, but its definitely also been a huge blessing in my life. 

This week was also difficult because there were more moments than usual where I felt dumb, inadequate and just a  downright bad missionary. I am realizing that teaching the gospel the right way is hard even in English, although throwing in the Spanish curve ball makes it even harder and more frustrating. I could go on and on about all of the ways I have felt stupid or inadequate but I'll just sum it up and say that I am definitely being humbled and broken down in order to be built stronger and better. It hurts and it is hard but I am thankful for every second of it. The more I understand this gospel the more I am realizing the extent of God's love and mercy towards each and every one of us. I think that one of the biggest things I have learned this week is to accept His daily help and not expect a miracle to cure all. I am realizing that trials and hard times are blessings because we get the chance to walk every single step down that hard path with God and Christ right at our side. This week our lessons were focused on the atonement and how it changes a person. In Alma 22 it talks about how Aaron is teaching King Lamoni's father and at first the king believes every thing Aaron says, but as we learned, that is not true conversion because he is just believing Aarons word. We then learned that the moment Aaron started teaching the doctrine of the gospel the King's desires started to change. True doctrine changes attitudes and behaviors. Once the king heard the true doctrine all of the desires of his heart completely changed and he was even willing to give up his entire kingdom just to receive the "great joy" Aaron was talking about.  Reading this chapter made me so excited and thankful to be a missionary because I want more than anything to give people the joy that I feel on a daily basis. However I can't help but have my heart hurt for those that have let that joy go.I can't help but hurt because I want those people to be like that King and give up everything for the one thing that gives you the most joy in this world. I asked my teacher what he does when someone falls away from the church or when someone who knows the church is true still won't accept it. He paused and thought for a moment and then said, "you just cry".
And it true. Understanding the amount of happiness and joy this gospel brings has made me understand a little more of how Heavenly Father feels when his children leave him. It breaks my heart. 

On a brighter and completely unrealated note, I always thought that Spanish would be the hardest thing about a mission but so far that is not true. I have never had a testimony of the gift of tongues until I stepped into the MTC and saw it completely take over my life. Yes my spanish is not perfect. Yes at times during lessons I have to speak Spanglish or use hand gestures. BUT THE LANGUAGE IS COMING. There have been more moments that I can even count where during a lesson- a thought, or a word or a phrase in Spanish will just come to me and I'll say it perfectly and get my point across. I am completely amazed with how much Spanish I have learned in 15 days. Now don't get me wrong, I work SO SO hard to learn Spanish. You guys should see the stack of flashcards I have with vocab words and phrases on them. Its insane  haha

Another good thing this week:

So its not a secret, I sometimes miss my old life. And I am definitely feeling the absence of music in my life. I know it sounds weird but seriously I was never NOT listening to music. But guess what the Lord blessed me with last Sunday?
The organist from the Tabernacle Choir (Richard Elliot) and DAVID ARCHULETTA came and performed for us. 


And let me tell you, it was one of the best performances I have ever seen. Richard Elliot is phenomenal hands down. And David Archuletta sings better than before his mission if that is even possible. He also spoke to us about missionary work and favorite part...............  he sang come come ye saints in Spanish. Seriously there is a different Spirit present with Spanish hymns and all I can say is that there was not one spanish missionary whose eyes were not dry (including his) after he sang. It was unreal.

Another cool fact: I shook his hand. Yup, I can now finally say I have touched a celebrity. 

Ok wanna hear some funny things that happened this week?
Thankfully I did not embarrass myself AS MUCH this week as I did last week. Another tender mercy from the Lord I tell ya haha. 

Anyways lets talk about how I am going to Mexico.... It is hot in Mexico......I packed clothes meant for heat.........  It definitely snowed this week. (Mom, I'm freezing. hint hint) But its all good! I'm sure now I will be more grateful for the heat when I get to Mexico than I would have been if I wasn't completely freezing every day in Provo. 

Lets also talk about the heart attack my companion gave me last night. So I have not been sleeping good at all (more about that later) but last night I awake to her talking and shouting at something. So I sit up  really fast (bumping my head on the ceiling as always) and I ask her whats wrong. And then I realize that she is wandering around shouting at random objects in the room. I then realize that she is sleepwalking and talking which if you guys didn't know, completely scares the heck out of me. Anyways I climb down and shake her awake and explain to her what was going on because she was SO CONFUSED as to why she was out of bed and why I was shaking her. Thank goodness I sleep on the top bunk because I think if she was sleepwalking and wanted to kill me or something I would hear her climbing up the ladder in time to get off the bed and save myself. Seriously i thought that plan through after her little episode. I love her but she is crazy. haha

For the no sleeping thing: For some reason my body DOES NOT LIKE sitting in a chair most of the day and so my back decided to form a golf ball sized knot in my muscles. Seriously you can see it through my shirts. Anddddd icy hot is not helping. Even all of the girls have tried to rub it out with essential oils and stuff. And I'm stretching and working out as usual sooooo what do I do about that? Help a sista out, give me some tips people. I'm dying over here. 

Ok last funny thing. We have a ton of helper teachers called TRC's along with our real teachers and... they are interesting characters. Most of them are young RM's and so it's funny because when they teach us they are sometimes a little awkward and weird. And so we have given most of our teachers nicknames expect for the teachers and TRC's we really respect. So far we have, Mousy (because he looks like a mouse), Dobby (because its easier to say than his real name) Rudolph (because he has a red nose, duh) Goofy (because he acts like goofy from mickey mouse) and midriff (because he wears REALLY TIGHT shirts). Also you know how people say Red Heads are a dying breed? Well I know where they all are. They are all living in Provo because 3/4 of my teachers are red heads. Its the weirdest thing I have ever seen haha. 

So thats pretty much been my week. Lots of ups and downs but I want each and every one of you to know what I wouldn't give up what I am doing for anything in the world right now. Yes I am 20 years old and yes I miss my normal life like dating and watching movies and hanging with friends and SLEEPING IN, but I do not regret for a moment the path I have chosen to go down. I wish I could express even to the slightest degree how much this gospel means to me. The spirit changes people. I can testify of that because I have already begun to see the change in me. Yes I am frustrated at times but Elder Holland said "Missionary work is not easy because salvation is not cheap nor easy. Christ was the ultimate savior and in order to bring salvation he had to take upon him the sins and affirmatives of this world in Gethsemane. If you should ever wonder if theres an easier way remember someone greater than you once asked if there was another way but there isn't. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and we must all pass through our personal Gethsemanes. I know that God hears and answers our prayers. I know that through Christ's atonement we can become cleansed and return back to him and all of the unfairness and trials of this world will be made right. More than anything, I know that God loves every one personally. This gospel makes me so happy and I cannot even fathom the idea of not being a missionary. I love it. And I love each and every one of you!

Hermana Wells

P.S. Family! I am so thankful Bro. Webber is keeping me updated on all of you because um.........I haven't heard from you guys in forever.

But like its whatever. No big deal.

Seriously write me.

On and enjoy the picture of me freezing to death.

Line of the day:

It was a really good day and a lesson went SUPER well and so my companion said, "On a scale of 1-10 I feel like I could beat up a bear!"

Well said Hermana, well said. 

We touched DAVID ARCHULETTAS HAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Letter #2


Oh my gosh I have been here 10 days. It literally feels like forever because I am learning SO SO much!

Ok before I begin, seriously THANK YOU everyone for all of the emails and letters, and dear elders and packages. They make my entire day and what most people dont realize is, missionaries LOVE to hear about anything going on in the real world and in all of your lives even if they seem boring to you. Trust me, after a week and a half away of classes and studying, nothing seems boring to me anymore! So keep writing! I love you all!

Anyways this week was fantastic. Like so so good. Its weird because so many missionaries (RM's and missionaries still here at the MTC) are all like "dont worry, you just have to get through the MTC and then you will be fine." Well guess what? They are not living right. The MTC is awesome and I am loving my life here. 

Funny though as I'm talking about loving life so much..... this morning was PD day and sooooo of course we had to wake up at 5:30 in the freaking morning to clean........ TOILETS!!! WOOOO!!! 


As we were beginning to clean toilets, I soon realized that my companion did not know how to clean toilets because she has grown up with a maid her entire life. hahaha I was dying it was hilarious trying to teach her how to clean a toilet. And because I have had the opportunity of cleaning toilets pretty much my entire life I let her clean all of the elder's toilets because I thought she could use the experience haha ;) 

Mom- heres your moment. Thanks for teaching me to clean. You da best.

Well on that note my companion Hermana Ramirez is awesome. We really clicked this week and are seriously best friends. God really knows who to pair with who because we are definitely not the "average missionary girls" and so its awesome to have someone who gets me and someone who will quote movies with me and sing Lil Wayne or Drake songs with me. Seriously our district thinks we are crazy.

BUT... we had interviews with our zone leaders and they said, Hermana Wells, you and Hermana Ramirez are always happy and laughing and that is such a good thing to have in the mission field.

Seriously she keeps me sane. We literally laugh all the time and I am so happy to be with her even though my patience has been tried a couple of times but hey shes making me a better person.

Ok so lets talk about my teachers here while at the mtc.

Hermano Labron. From Argentina, went on a mission to Chile. He taught us for about 2 days  and then pretty much peaced out and when on a family vaca with his wife and kid for literally a week and a half.

So.. we haven't have a teacher most of the time which has probably been one of the hardest things about the MTC because um hello I can't teach myself spanish. But whatever its all good.

Hermano Dolbien. 21 years old. From Utah went on a mission to El Salvador. Really attractive. For some odd reason we all can't speak spanish as well  and we seem to forget things more and be more flustered around him. I wonder why...

Seriously the MTC should only hire married or ugly people.

But like I said before in my last email, he gives the best lessons so eh, he can stay I guess.

Oh but remember him because I have MANY funny storied about him.

Ok well on for the funny stuff that has happened to me while at the MTC.

So our apartment is usually a mess because we are always so rushed and stressed trying to get ready in the morning. WELL we received a notice that the branch president and his wife were coming over that night to meet and visit with us.

Shoot. They cannot see our apartment like this!!

So being the good district leader I decided to tell everyone just to shove all of the clothes and hair dryers and things in the closets.

Remember the movie the Best 2 Years where the elder says the president is coming over so the other elder freaks out and hurries and cleans the place?

Well it was a perfect  reenactment of that. But hey closets are awesome. It worked!! The brach president came over and was happy with us and our apartment looked clean. 


The next day the mean Provo apartment people decided to do clean checks. And so they opened our closets. And so that night when we came home we got a nice big fat notice saying FAILED. 

Whoops. Next time people.

Me and Hermana Ramirez were laughing and some other girl in our district was really mad and she was like "This is NOT funny!!!" 

Whoa...ok. calm down there. Put some things into perspective, ok??

It really was funny.

But dont worry as of 2 hours ago, our apartment is sparkling.

So I guess you guys can now tell that I am pretty good at having a good sense of humor and laughing at myself which is SERIOUSLY so important on a mission because crap happens and there is nothing you can do about it but laugh. And crap happens to me ALL the time and I am still a happy camper so I guess it works. Want some examples? Lemme tell ya.

1. Morning time. Super rushed. Wearing a nice black shirt. I was brushing my teeth when all of a sudden a glob the size of Mt. Rushmore falls on my shirt. Great. So I tried to put water and get the stain out....but it never came out and I didn't have time to change. So yes I walked around all day proudly wearing a VERY noticeable stained black shirt. Its all good.... except for the few weird glances and comments.... ya ya I know my shirt is stained. Thanks.

2. So my water bottle might have leaked in my bag getting EVERYTHING soaked. Well it got my spanish book soaked as well. Too bad it didn't completely ruin it because I hate that thing haha. Well Hermano Dolbien (the attractive one) saw my book and was like "What the heck did you do to this thing??" And I was like uh well...." and then I awkwardly explained what happened. And then he laughed and was like haha dang your one of those people" ........


BUT he did show me his scriptures because the SAME things happened to him so he pretty much just dissed himself when he was dissing me.

3. Another Dolbien story. Seriously everything embarrassing that happens to me happens when he is around. Gahhh I love my life..... So we have these chair desks things. And if you put to much books on top of the desk part the whole desk will fall over. Well I had some big books on my desk but the desk was doing just fine. I go to my desk to take a book off and then I walk away and the ENTIRE DESK falls over and makes a HUGE crashing sound because it crashed into a wall and my books go EVERYWHERE and Dolbien just looks at me like "oh my gosh you are a mess" hahahaha it was hilarious. Kinda. 

Spreading laughter and happiness wherever I go I tell ya!

Ok so those were the funny/ embarrassing times. 

Now for the hard stuff. Its true missions are hard. Spanish is hard. Studying ALL day is hard.
Last Saturday night was my worst night here. We had just taught an investigator and I couldn't understand anything. I couldn't say anything. The more frustrated I got the more I felt the spirit leave me and let me tell ya, the gift of tongues is real people. I can only speak Spanish now because the Spirit is with me. But that night I was angry with myself and I couldn't do it. The lesson went terribly. The investigator wouldn't pray for us which was our goal. Me and my companion cried after the lesson (we NEVER cry) and it was hard. I literally felt so stupid and worthless. But guess what? I got through that night. And I learned so many important things. Things like having patience with yourself and learning that when you are down helping others seriously eases your burden. And things like Satan really puts thoughts in your head. Christ doesn't expect me to be perfect. I heard the best quote talking about how God sets a bar and a standard for each of us and our situation. We do not have the authority to live under that bar but we definitely DO NOT have the authority to live above it either. As long as we are trying our best, God is proud and pleased. So that was a good lesson. I no longer am hard on myself. I try SO hard- don't get me wrong but I am not hard on myself. I am learning to be patient with my flaws and I am learning to see my strengths and what I have instead of all the things I lack.

What a blessing. 
After that day, the week was awesome. We have these people called TRC teachers and they hop from district to distrcit just helping out. Hermano Wright came and talked to us about how to get our investigator to pray. He kept asking us "well why do you need to pray?" Well of course the sunday school answers came out. We pray to talk to God. To get blessings. blah blah blah. Well he kept asking us WHY? And to be honest, I didn;t know why. And so all week we've searched the scriptures and prayed about the question why do we pray. And guess what? We found it. I learned that the reason we pray is to align our will with Gods. Thats it. I have been praying wrong my entire life and because of that I have lived my life thinking my prayers were never asnwered or that God didn't love me. BUT HE DOES LOVE ME. AND HE DOES LISTEN AND ANSWER PRAYERS. My will was just never aligned with His and I never tried to see things from HIS point of view. My prayers are very much different now and the spirit I feel is different. I no longer ask for things in my life to happen but I am now trying to align what I want with what God wants. That is how you get through trials. Once I learned that we taught our investigator AGAIN about prayer. The lesson went totally different. THE SPIRIT was so STRONG. I bore my testimony about Bethany getting cancer and how at first I felt that God had abandoned me. But he didn't. I wasn't understanding that he had a different plan for me and for my sister. I cannot even describe the spirit that I felt. I had an impression to ask our investigator to pray which was weird because we wernt going to have her pray until the end but I asked her anyways and guess what? She prayed. Didn't even hesitate. And it was the MOST BEAUTIFUL prayer ever.

The spirit does amazing things. It changes people. My spanish is coming because of the Spirit. The other night we had a different TRC teacher and he bore his testimony about the power of the gift of tongues. We have only been here 10 days and already I am thinking Spanish in my head and sometimes when I write in my journal I insert spanish phrases and words completely by accident.

Now, spanish is HARD. And I STRUGGLE at it like everyone else. But this gospel is TRUE. There is no other way I could be speaking this language as well as I am if it wern't for the gift of tongues.

That is what I love about my mission. I love how I feel all the time. I am happy. I am at peace with my life. God is real and he is constantly there helping and watching over me. I know exactly what it feels like to have the Spirit verses not having it. I LOVE missionary work. Walking away from our lesson where we got our investigator to pray was the best feeling ever. It over rules the hard times. I cannot even express how much I love this gospel. I testify that it is true. This gospel changes people. The power of the atonement taught with TRUE doctrine changes people's attitudes and behaviors. I have seen it. Seriously I can't wait for Christian and Bethany (if she wants too) go on missions. It truly is the best time of a persons life. Every single night when I write in my journal I start out with " I AM EXHAUSTED, but I AM SO HAPPY. And its true. Its hard work. I go to sleep tireder than the night before but I wake up and I am ready to work. Gahhh this is the best.

Line of the Week:

(Ok so we are teaching a TRC teacher because our investigator couldn't come that day. We were told that he was moving to Ohio and he was nervous because he didn't have a job and didn't know what to do with his life and so we thought hey, lets teach him about faith! That will help him!)

Us- Hey! How are you doing? (in spanish of course)
Hermano Christofferson- really good!
Us- we heard you're moving to Ohio. Are you nervous about that?
Hmo. C.- Nope. Not at all.
Us- uhh ok. Well we are going to talk to you about faith
Hmo. C- I have lots of that already.
Us.......................... uhhhhh ok well thats what we are STILL going to talk to you about because we literally don't know how to say anything else other than what we already have down on our notes.....


Oh and one more story hahahaha

Ok so last night we studied Spniash literally all day and by 9:00 I had the BIGGEST headache and was pretty much done with life.

Teacher- OK now for the last half an hour we are going to read El Libro de Mormon outloud and then translate it into English!

Please no. 

Oh goodness please no.

But we did and somehow I survived that excruciating session of translating huge annoying words into English. I got by by just nodding my head and pretending like I was understanding what was going on.

haha. Missions are great people. I love  each and every one of you so so much. Miracles DO and ARE happening. I see them everyday. 

Hermana Wells

P.S. One of my teachers was telling me about the ferocious dogs in Mexico that chase you. He said do you run fast?? And I said, Yeah I'm pretty confident in my running ability. He then said, well the secret to escaping the mean dogs is to run faster than your companion.

hahahahaha. dying. Great life advise. I will definitely remember that one!

P.P.S. I do have pics but....the computer here sucks and soooo if you don't get pics today then hopefully next week! LOVE YA
 This is how I feel at the end of the day.

 Just conjugating those verbs.

We got out Visas! I now have a straight way ticket to Mexico. I'm pumped!