Saturday, February 23, 2013

MTC - Week 6

For those of you who are not familiar with The Lord of the Rings characters, our Katie, again this week, begins her letter with a quote from her favorite book series.

"Home is behind, the world ahead, and there are many paths to tread."


I am going to Chile...on Monday! Hahaha. That is so funny to me. We went around as a district, discussing the things that we've learned, how we feel we are going to do in Chile, etc. When it was my turn to talk, I sat in silence, thinking about my MTC experiences. The only quote I could think of that applies to me personally (in regards to my español), was in reference to Elder Nelson's talk last conference.  I said,
"DON'T ask the missionaries. They CAN'T help you!"
The thought of me walking up to someone, introducing myself as a missionary and sharing a message with them is not even a real thing. Sure, I've learned quite a bit of Spanish. But to simply talk and have a normal conversation with someone in Spanish is really quite a humorous thought. Aaaaand this is where I bear my testimony on faith. I think half of the reason I laugh is because of how freaking awesome the gift of tongues is. Heavenly Father is totally going to bless me and help me in so many different ways. Why should I have to worry and be stressed when I know I have 100% faith that he's going to help me. Sure. These next 3-4 months are going to be a bit frustrating. At times I might get a bit upset that I might not be able to fully get my point across.........let alone even understand what they are saying...... But I know it'll come. I've never seen a missionary come home and not know their mission language. The Big Guy knows what's up, always. So Becca, I won't stress about Spanish, if you promise to stop stressing about your AP tests. K, cool. Kiss ya twice.

Go and watch the new mormon message called "Mountains to Climb". 
Dad and Jeremy, go watch the mormon message called "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father". 
I thought of you two when I watched it :)

Mother. You never cease to amaze me. Thank you so much for the wonderful Valentine's package! Hermana Smith and I were so grateful for your love and treats and goodies and all that you do. And then to get a dearelder last night saying you're sending me another package, asking me for all the things that I need. (I'll respond in a diferente email acerca de las cosas necesito....the things i need. I just wanted everyone that I sent this to, to see how wonderful and supportive and amazing you are ;) I love you) 

Mom, just like how you never cease to amaze me...neither does my dyslexia. :/  Yesterday we had the opportunity to host all the new missionaries! The Elders are in chage of escorting the missionary from the curb to the main building and then the Hermana's take them to their residency, drop off their luggage, take them to the bookstore to pick up their books and then drop them off at their classrooms. We were asked to host about 4-6 Hermanas. Well. I gave up after two. The first Hermana was so cute. Really nervous and a bit freaked out. She asked to use the bathroom after we dropped off her luggage and was in their for about 10 minutes. I thought for sure she booked it out the backdoor and was halfway home. I completely forgot to take her to the bookstore, dropped her off at her class and was like, "Well bueno suerte! Good luck, Hermana!" she looks at me all confused and asks, "Do I need any books or anything?"
Ugh! Idiot. So I took her to the bookstore, picked up her books and somewhere during that time, I lost her schedule and room key. Prime. Pretty sure that pushed her right over the edge. I felt so bad. I hope I don't have to see her again.

I shook it off and knew the next girl would be better. ........yeah. Let's just say I hope I never see her again either. When you first pick up the new Hermana, she gives you a little envelope that has her residency room 351/building number 17M and classroom 476/building number 18M. Well, thanks to the dyslexia, I took her to the CORRECT residency building 17M but the room I took her to was her classroom number 476. There were already girls in that room so we weren't able to realize that her key wouldn't work. When I took her to her classroom, I took her to building 18M but class room 531 (her residency number is 351, so not only didn't I get her residency/classroom  number mixed up, I also mixed up 351 to 531.)

If you're not following anything I just wrote, you now understand how I felt when I realized I had just dropped this cute Spanish speaking Hermana off in a classroom going to South Korea, Korean speaking.

I have had quite a bit of fun here in the MTC. I am not sure why people hate it so badly. Oh wait, yeah, I do. The food sucks, you have no freedom ever, and it's inevitable that you're going to gain 10+ pounds. But really, I've enjoyed my time.

Three things I'm really going to miss are:
1. Mi Compañera. Oh My GOSH. The thought about not being with Hermana Smith is literally the worst feeling ever. We have become so close, so fast. (P.S. She started choking during the most spiritual lesson we've had so far. The spirit was so strong and JUST as she's about to ask our investigator if she wants to get baptized, she inhales weird, starts coughing, choking, turning purple, crying...I literally thought she was dying.  In the moment we were scared to death. She had to run to the bathroom and drink out of the sink. But, every time we think about it, we die laughing. ah gees, I just love her.) 
What a blessing. She has helped me so much and taught me so many things that will help me throughout my mission.    

2. My district. It's sad because most of the districts I know all go to the same missions. In our district, only Hermana Smithy and I are going to Viña del Mar. Everyone else is going to Santiago or Concepcion. They are my family here. It's the same love that I had for the cross country kids. It was so easy to find the good in them and to love them all with my whole entire heart. Amazing people! I guess I'll just need to go find some more amazing (darker) people to love.

3. I'm really going to miss service. I don't know if it's because we are in charge of vacuuming and we get to wear the awesome Ghost Buster vacuums on our backs...or if it's because I have such a love for vacuuming...or if it's because I get to be alone for an hour, lost in my vacuuming thoughts. I just for some reason am going to miss service. Haha. I like that time. Vacuum prayers. I'll miss my vacuum prayers.

I know this email hasn't been 'as spiritual' as my other ones, but I need to stay sane somehow. I feel like humor and laughing is what people need more of. When you can laugh at yourself, not be afraid to make stupid mistakes and find happiness in the things that surround you, life is muy bien. I do have such a stronger testimony after this nice MTC experience. I am loving the whole 'the Holy Ghost is your constant companion' thing. He really has become my best friend.

I kept track of how many prayers I said the other day. 21. TWENTY-ONE! Who says 21 prayers in one day? I thought I was doing great when I got 2 in back at home. The best part is, after 21 prayers, I felt like I could have prayed more. I am learning so many cool things here. About myself, about this gospel, about how good God is. Seriously, this life is amazing. We just need to let ourselves figure it out and stop making it so difficult. Yes, life is hard. Yes, missions are hard. But that doesn't mean we can't be happy along the way!  

I love you all so much and am so grateful for your constant love and support. You don't know how much I appreciate the dearelders, letters, packages, candy, gifts, love, etc. I am so blessed and pumped to get to Chile! GAH!!! Life is golden! 
Stay gr8. Tay Tay, I am sending your BDAY package on Saturday. But you have to wait to open it on your BIRTHDAY. WAHOO 17!!!!  :/ ew. 17?  No, you're still 10!

K. I love you all!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

MTC - Week 5 - Happy Valentine's Day

"Time doesn't seem to pass here. It just is."
-Samwise Gamgee

Well, I'm at my one month mark in two days. Life doesn't really seem real - ever. Which is good. I feel like time goes by so fast; but at the same time, I feel like I've been gone for years. I saw so many people from Kaysville/Davis this week. Every time I saw someone it was just like "Oh, hey. What's up?" Like it was no big deal or weird to see them. I see Landon Bybee all the time (I told him to text you I love you). He and Matt Smith both work here at the MTC. Oh my gosh. It was SO good to see Matty Smith! :) He was waiting for Jen to pick him up from work so I got to see and give her a hug. They are beautiful people. I'm so happy they ended up together.

This week was definitely an emotional roller coaster. I was either really happy/loving life or extremely frustrated/discouraged.  The first couple of weeks here were SO good. I felt like Spanish was coming along great. 

My district was fabulous. We were having so much fun together. And then last week, I realized we were probably having too much fun. We weren't really taking things too seriously or studying as hard as we should. Slowly our progress with Spanish was slowing down. It was too easy to get distracted because we are all such good friends. I decided last week that I would really try to study as hard as I could in both personal study and language study.But ever since I've really been trying to be obedient/follow the rules/stay productive, I've felt like the mission has gotten WAY harder.

On Saturday, after gym, Hermana Smith was in the shower so I had some alone time in our room for about 5 minutes. It had already been a long, hard day and we still had another 3 hour class, an hour of language study and then more additional study. I was feeling really discouraged and thought I'd take advantage of the quiet time and say one of the most sincere, shortest prayers of my life. I simply said, "Heavenly Father. I can't do this without you. Please help me to feel peace that I can learn this language, be successful with this mission and know that you are helping me."

When we got to class, our teacher said, "Change of plans. Instead of language today, we are going to read out of Jacob 5. The only verses I want you to focus on are 70-72."  We all thought it was pretty weird that he had to spend the next 30 minutes on three verses but as I started reading, I KNEW it was an answer to my prayer...

70: And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard sent his servant; and the servant went and did as the Lord had commanded him, and brought other servants; and they were few.
71: And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come.
72: And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; AND THE LORD OF THE VINEYARD LABORED ALSO WITH THEM; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things.
Hi?! If that's not an answer to a prayer, I don't know what is. And how FREAKING AWESOME that it talks about serving in THE VINEYARD. VINA DEL MAR-VINEYARD BY THE SEA. Yeah, stoked! I was stoked!  But that's not all....THEN in class we watched a youtube video called 

"Missionary Work and the Atonement" by Holland and Eyring. 

PLEASE go and watch it. 
"I invite ALL of you" to go and watch this video.

"Why is this so hard?...I've thought about it a great deal...I offer this as my feeling...I am convinced that Missionary Work is not easy because Salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation was NEVER easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ. This is the truth...Why would we believe, why would we think that it would be easy for us when it was NEVER, EVER easy for Him. In turn, how could we possibly bear any moving, lasting testimony of the atonement if we've never known or felt anything of such an must be prepared to walk something of the path He walked...if the missionaries can come to love and appreciate their mission, the atonement will carry them. " 
                                                                                                             -Elder Holland

This video was made for missionaries, but in reality, I think Elder Holland's words apply to everyone.  This life was not made to be easy. We ALL will feel pain, sorrow, doubt, and loneliness in this life. I know this mission will not be easy. I know that learning Spanish will be difficult. Working 18 hours a day, is a LONG day. Losing Daddy Scott is still hard for me. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him. But I know that if I ever start feeling lonely, like I can't do it anymore, He is with me and will give me the strength to carry on. I know that is true for everyone. I believe that we are NOTHING without Him.  
"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever" Alma 26:12

This church is awesome. This gospel is true. I love my companion. She is perfect for me. We leave a week from Monday. I am PRAYING that my new companion will be as patient and loving as Hermana Smith. I will miss this girl. We report the travel office at 3:30 am Monday, February 25. Our plane leaves at 6 am. We get the rest of our travel plans later today when the mail comes. So... 

If anyone wants to write me any more handwritten letters, 
please send them by next Thursday!

You are all beautiful people and I'm so thankful for all the love and support I receive from friends and family. 
I love you all. Think you're great. Give yourselves two kisses from me for Valentine's Day. 
I'll send some pictures home later when we're doing laundry.

All my love,
Hermana Pendleton

Thursday, February 7, 2013

MTC - Week 4

I had a REeeEaAaAaLlLLYy tough day on Saturday. Probably my first 'hard' day as a missionary. (It really wasn't that hard. I was just being selfish and feeling bad for myself). On our way back to our room, I said a little prayer in my heart that I would feel some comfort and immediately I had an Andrew Bird song stuck in my head....the lyrics are "You swallow far from home. It's how you find your room...though my words being to crumble (espanol) like the sidewalks all around his crumby neighborhood (the mtc).....Night's falling, night's falling, but you're not alone, no you're not alone." It's a song called Nightsky. Tay and Becca, you'll really like it.

Point is. I felt like it was an answer to my prayer. Yeah, I'm now starting to realize this whole mission thing might get a bit difficult at times...but I'm never alone. I have my Heavenly Father and my Daddy Scott :) I'm blessed to have twice the fatherly love with me all the time. Freak. I definitely miss dad--but my favorite thing to teach my investigators here is about the plan of salvation. It's cool to have a firm belief that families are forever and that I don't have to worry too much about not seeing mi padre en the next life.

Mom, remember how I would always ask you "how do I know the difference between my own thoughts and the Holy Ghost?" Well on Sunday, we watched an old devotional of a talk Elder Bednar gave here at the MTC who knows how long ago...but he starts off his talk by saying "How do you tell the difference between the Holy Ghost and yourself?" (Yeah, I knew this was going to be a good one. Talkin' straight to this girl.) He went on and talked a bit about how a lot of us worry and wonder about that question and finally says....

"So you want to know the difference.....QUIT WORRYING ABOUT IT!  Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, get busy with his work and he will guide you. As you open your mouth, it will be filled. Don't wait for an overwhelming feeling from the spirit, it may not happen. Continue to always keep your covenants, be a good girl and you will be guided and have peace. Always be at the right place, at the right time and the spirit will take care of the rest." When we are struggling to make important decisions in our lives, use our best judgements when it comes to feeling the spirit. Sometimes making the right decision is more difficult than making the wrong...but do it anyway. You will be blessed.

He finishes with this quote...
"If you are good, then every good thought that comes into your mind is of the Holy Ghost." 
I love that. D&C 80 applies to EVERYONE.

Quote of the week (Elder Bloxham brings the humor this time). In TRC, he was telling about his family; their names, ages, etc. When you tell how old you are or how old someone is you say "Yo Tengo 22 años" (I have 22 years) or "Mi Hermana tiene 15 años" (my sister has 15 years).....Well, Elder Bloxham was saying "Mi Hermana tiene 15 anos, mi hermano tiene 12 anos...." If you don't have the accent on the n, anos means anal.
So his sister has 15 anals, his brother has 12 anals....etc....hahahahah. We were dying.

My district nickname is "Little P"
I miss music, rock climbing and running. Oh my gosh I miss music. 
(Sad, but true. Metallica. I don't miss Metallica.)

Elder Sheffield and Elder Bloxham are by far my best friends here. Of course, Hermana Smith is great, but those two boys really know how to get to this girl. They are both going to the Santiago East mission and it's gonna kill me to say goodbye to them. I have the best district. I wrote my Branch President a letter saying that if they ever needed an emergency transfer, I work way better with Elders than Sisters. He replied saying "I'll see what I can do...Just know that will require quite the haircut."  Haha! He's a great man.

Elder "Grumpy Face", Elder Bloxum, Hermana Little P, & Elder Sheffield

Ah geez. Other than that, this week was great. Definitely up's and down's with my emotions. But for the most part good. It's cool to see the difference in teaching when we go in with the spirit or if we're focused on how good we are at Spanish. It amazes me how much Spanish I know. I'm excited to call you in two weeks and talk to you in Espanol. But if I go into a lesson, remembering that if it weren't for the spirit, there is no way I'd know Spanish. Lessons always go better when you're humble. The gift of tongues is REAL. I was talking to a teacher the other day and he thought I was in the 9-week Spanish zone, leaving on Monday. He died when I told him I hadn't even been here for 3 weeks. It was comforting....but there are those moments when I think about getting to Chile and literally not knowing ANYTHING anyone is saying. It'll be loco crazy.

I love you all. I love being a missionary. It's pretty cool. Two weeks from Monday and I'll be off to CHILE!! Wahooo!

Te Amo!!
Hermana Little P