So I'll start by saying I'm sorry that this is the first time you're hearing from me! Our P-days are on Thursdays, and since last week we got here on Wednesday, we didn't have a p-day.
So many things I have to tell you! First, I absolutely LOVE the MTC!
I'll just start from the beginning, and write (the very condensed version) of what I wrote in my journal.
The spirit here is amazing! I'll have to admit I was a little bit nervous as I walked through the masses of arriving missionaries last week, but it was definitely an excited nervous! We got here and had orientation and did all of the welcome activities, and then we got taken one by one up to our district classrooms. I was the first one to arrive in the classroom, and our teacher was there and automatically started speaking Spanish to me. AH! I immediately thought, oh, no. Then another girl walked in and the teacher asked her the same questions and she answered him back ALL IN SPANISH! Awesome, am I the only one who doesn't know this language??
Then slowly, the rest of our district made their way in. My companion(s), I'm in a trio! Are Hermana Cooley, and Hermana Tanner. Hermana Cooley is from Boise, and is just about the sweetest little thing you've ever seen. She's 5'2" and just adorable. She's studying nursing as well, but is barely 19. Hermana Tanner is from St. George, and is also 19. I'm already feeling old! She played bolleyball in high school too, so that will make P-days fun!
So far I've realized that companionships are super inspired, while the three of us are extremely different looks wise, we all have something in common, and we already had an opportunity to begin teaching, and we each have something different to contribute.
The rest of our district is elders. There are 5 boys and then the three of us girls. Our district is definitely on the smaller side!
We just jump right in here. They don't waste any time teaching us Spanish and getting us teaching lessons! We teach our first investigator TOMORROW, and it has to be completely in Spanish. What? Today, we were all talking as a district, and we all went around and were telling our stories of how we came to decide to serve missions. It was incredible to listen to all of the different things people have gone through, and the lives people had before. Some of our Elders have been through some pretty rough things, and after sharing everything we all feel super close already. All of our elders are 18 or barely 19. They all found out that I'm almost 21 and now they call me "Hermana Vieja" which is basically "Hermana Old". Cute.
Today definitely started to feel more like an official day of missionary work. We taught our first lesson, our "investigator's" name is Hector, he speaks totally in Spanish, and FAST. It went pretty well for the most part, the beginning was great, and then he started going off telling stories and asking questions, and it was crazy! I was so frustrated, because i could completely understand him, but I could only think of answers in English! But I know that I can't be too hard on myself. I've been here for two days for crying out loud. Anyway, it was a really awesome experience, and opened my eyes to what missionary lessons will really be like.
Today was extremely long, and extremely awesome! It's Saturday, so the schedule was different. When we were at breakfast, our elders came in and apparently the trio had to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night. One of our elders broke his back and had surgery 9 months ago, they did a cat scan and found out that all of his muscles weren't attached right, and so he has tons of nerve damage! He's going to another doctor on Monday to make a final decision about what he needs to do. We're all praying for him, and hoping that everything works out alright.
Our "distrito" is becoming even closer. It's to the point where we have TOO much fun sometimes. But it's awesome because everyone can also be super deeply spiritual. You can tell everyone is beginning to think more in Spanish already, it's awesome! We had our second lesson with Hector today, and it was So much better than the first one. we relied more on the spirit and on each other, it flowed, and you could tell he was feeling it, too. Bien!!
I'm so excited for Easter tomorrow! Plus, it's Sunday. Everyone, from the first day, told us that this week would seem like 3 weeks, but that once you make it to Sunday, time flies, and then it only gets better from there! "Just make it to Sunday!!"
Easter Sunday. I love Easter for the opportunity to focus on the amazing life Christ led and to try and comprehend his incredible selflessness and sacrifice. I love my Savior, and I'm forever grateful for all that he's done for me. There have been so many times when the only thing that's brought me peace is knowing that I can rely on my Savior and that he knows exactly what I'm going through. This peace and comfort is something I can't wait to share with the people of Argentina!
Today we had testimony meeting with our Zone, and they told us that we could bare our testimonios in English since we're so new, but for some reason, I got up and did mine completely in Spanish. It's simple, but I could tell that the spirit was working on me!
Yo se que Jesucristo es mi Salvador y estoy agradecida por Su expiacion. Yo se que me ayuda todos las dias y trae paz. Estoy agradecida para la oportunidad a servir una mision. Yo se que Jesucristo sufrio para nuestros pecados. Este conocimiento me ayuda cuando necesito consuelo. Yo se que Dios conteste oraciones y quiere ayudar Sus hijos. Yo se que soy una hija de Dios. En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
Today was by far THE best day in the MTC, and also one of the greatest Easters. This morning we had a fireside with Bishop Cosse of the seventy, and his wife. it was awesome. They talked a lot about LOVE, and how it's so important to have a love for those we teach. That's one thing I've learned the very most from the MTC, it's amazing how quickly you can come to love people.
Our Sunday night devotional was with Sheri Dew. But first we sang a rendition of "Called to Serve." We started out quiet, and then on the second chorus got louder and louder and stood up and it was so amazing! I got chills. The power of the voices of over 3,000 missionaries singing that song was one the most incredible and unforgettable moments!
Sister Dew did an amazing job, she talked a lot about the influence of missionaries, and she too talked about LOVE. She talked about how there is no greater example of service and selfless love than Jesus Christ. She asked us the question, "How will you know that you've served a successful mission?" and to that she gave us the answer: You will love the Lord more than you love him right now. More than anything in the world."
She talked about how divine the call of a missionary is and how we've been saved for these days, this is our time, and we are exactly where God wants us to be.
To end the day, we watched a devotional talk by David A. Bednar: "Character of Christ". Probably one of the most amazing talks ever! The quote that I loved the most was "Christ turns out, when the natural man would turn in and be self-centered and self-absorbed". Again, he talked about selfless love, and charity. Love, love, love. it's a very common topic. The one thing i love about Bednar is that he's always very blunt. He said at one point "This mission is not about you! Who cares what you want anyway?" We, as missionaries, or really in any other aspect of life, are not entitled to anything. He says "Get over yourself!" He ended by saying "If you lose yourself in Christ and the service of others, you will find yourself because you won't be looking!"
I love that! This isn't our work, and we definitely can't do it without God's help. Having love and humility are so incredibly important for missionaries. I love this gospel, and I love being here, and I LOVE being a missionary!
Today was rough. Our injured Elder went home. He has been in so much pain, and the doctor decided it's best for him to go home and figure everything out. It's honestly amazing how close our district has become in just 5 days! We're down to 3 hermanas and 4 elders now. Smallest district ever, but I think that's why we've been so close. We're all praying for him and we made a pact: no one else goes home! We get to go get fingerprinted for visas tomorrow! We got a letter from the travel office a couple days ago telling us that we get to meet with the consulate next week! Woo! The other missionaries in our zone have been here for 5 weeks and still haven't met with them, and will most likely be reassigned for a while, but we were here two days and got called for meeting with the consulate! So lucky!
So i'm running out of time. But there's basically what life is like here in el CCM (MTC in Spanish). I love it here. My companions are super awesome, and we learn a lot from each other. our district gets closer and closer every day. I never knew it was possible to have so much love for some kids that you've known for a week, but I can honestly say that I love them. I love the gospel, and I know that there is a force at work here in the MTC that makes things happen that couldn't happen anywhere else.
I love you all, familia, but as much as I miss you, I know i'm exactly where i need to be!
Okay, mom, here's my list of things that I would love to have sent for me (tomorrow, if possible!)
*my exercise pants (did they come in the mail yet?) I'm wearing the most ridiculous outfit to p-day while my stuff is in the laundry.
*vitamin D pills
*Lindsay's address (it's in my cubby)
*jeans (the ones on my desk that AREN'T papaya brand)
*copy of my call letter
*crackers, chips, snacks :)
Love you all so much! Thank you for all of your amazing letters, Easter candy, and support. You mean the world to me, and I can feel the power of your prayers more than you know!!
Love, Hermana Cox
ps. I saw Connor Kent, mom, we talked for a while. he's a cute kid, his companions are goof balls.