Sunday, September 15, 2013

I feel like I am on a roller coaster!

Hola Familia!
Wow let me just start out with THANK YOU for everyones sweet emails! and letters. Oh and I got the meds with the note so thank you for that. I haven't received any dear elders so just a heads up to everyone that whatever you are doing is not working. Okay SO much happened this week! First off, we can get packages here! So if you are feeling generous I would LOVE some more mints and a long raincoat that is preferably cute. No one told me it was going to be freezing here! It rains every day and all I have are clothes for hot weather! But luckily today and yesterday it has been warmer. And we finally saw the sun!! It was so nice to see that haha.
So Mexico. Is. Crazy. The driving here should not be legal. But it is so gorgeous! All of the buildings are so colorful I love it! The people are all friendly. So the three sounds of Mexico are car horns, sirens, and bombs. Everyday some sort of bomb or something goes off and freaks everyone out haha. I guess it helps us stay alert during all of the studying! The CCM is right by this gorgeous lush mountain with these colorful houses and I get to see that view every morning. I love it! The CCM is so nice. The casas are pretty nice other than the bathrooms and floors are disgusting. Like our shower is so clogged with hair that it floods the whole bathroom every time one of us shower. Don't worry mom, I wear my flip flops all the time! I am so excited for this Friday because it is Mexico independence day! Which means all the missionaries are going to get zero sleep. The parties here are crazy. There was one last week; people were screaming and playing drums which i guess are the things to play here! yeah none of us got sleep.
My companion is Whitney Rogers who was the girl I told you to look up on facebook! We have gotten along great! We are actually pretty similar. She is a health freak as you all call too so we help each other eat somewhat healthy here and exercise! She is more reserved than I am which sometimes is hard because i just want to be a little crazy at times but we get along which i am so grateful for! So guess what. You know how I was telling you about Hermana Hall last week? We are roommates! How cool is that?! Her comp is Hermana Lesher who is going to Nicaragua too! So we have fun in our room. We have different schedules so I don't really see them that much but I love them! My district is just awesome. There are 8 elders and just the 2 hermanas. I wish we had more sisters but it whatever. We have fun! The 8 elders are seriously awesome! Elder Najaraian is our district leader and he is just the coolest! The first day I met the other Nicaragua sisters and can I just say I am so lucky! They are AWESOME. Hermana Cara Behan and Hermana Natalee Hawkins are hilarious. Seriously I laugh so hard when I am with them. I am friends with them on fb too so go stalk them haha. I am just blessed with all these amazing people! I also see Annie here and there, and also Maddy Collier. Three girls from my byu hall in Taylor are here and SO many oly kids are here. I feel famous because I am always saying hi to people haha:) Like me and Arecenio, Sammy Watchman, Will Christensen, Aaaron Toro, Nate Meyer, and some others are all friends! 
The food is..well I thought it was great until yesterday! I have so much fruit here that it is messing with my digestive system if you know what I mean haha. There is tons of rice, potatoes, meat, carbs and this kinda french like pastries. I have avoided the beans! So that has been so nice. So i am eating pretty great! Pretty sure I am going to pack on the pounds though because of all the carbs. Mom you know me, bread is my weakness;) SO about yesterday. I ate lunch which was this meat thing which i I thought was good, BROCCOLI (there is like no veggies here so I loved it) and some fruit. Well I find out last night that the meat I liked was COW TONGUE: AHHHHHHH hahahah my face was priceless when this hermana told me that. I guess it was in the shape of a tongue. Gross. But the best quote ever was from Hermana Hawkins: "Hermanas, we just french kissed a dead cow." we were all DYING of laughter. Basically anything that happens is funny to missionaries. So dad you are right, i am pretty sure that spaghetti sauce game is so fun!
So moving on to a more spiritual note. Wow this week has been a roller coaster of different emotions. Honestly it has felt like I have been gone for a year. Not 8 days. The first day of class was pretty awful. The teachers just started talking in Spanish which just made me overwhelmed because I had no idea what they were saying. By the way, my teachers are awesome! I was praying for the gift of tongues and nothing was happening. I learned that you have to put EFFORT into learning the language. It just doesn't come. Surprise huh? HA. Well the gift of tongues is so real! I have been studying and learning so much! I am understanding a lot and learning how to speak the language. When my comp and I are teaching our investigator, words spill out of my mouth and I know it is not me saying them. Its so amazing. AH there has been so much spiritual things that happened this week I don't know which ones to tell you! The spirit here is just amazing. I have never felt the spirit so much in my life. I love it. I guess I will just focus on two experiences that happened this week. (Lo siento I am running out of time. Stupid timer)
So first, teaching my investigator. I definitely didn't know three days after you get here you have to teach your investigator in Spanish. Me and my comp taught out first lesson to Carol, our investigator, and it went fine. We didn't feel the spirit really strong and Carol wasn't progressing any where. The second lesson was quite something though! So me and hermana rogers were teaching Carol about the first vision. Carol read the first vision in JS words and I ask her if she feels the spirit. Every missionaries worst nightmare, she says NO. Um what in the world do you do when that happens? haha I am sure the look of our faces was great, wide eyed and opened mouths! I wanted to have carol feel the spirit so bad so I prayed that I would know what to do. All of a sudden out comes from my mouth, "Carol can we sing you a hymn?" HAHAHA my comps face! She doesn't like to sing and her face was priceless! She was a good sport and went with it though. Well problem. We don't know any hymns in Spanish so we decided to sing families can be together forever. We start singing and then realize we are singing the chorus! hahah my comp starts laughing, then carol starts laughing, then I start laughing! Hahah it was bad. I got my comp to focus and we decided to sing I am a child of god. That really brought the spirit. My and my comp were really frustrated because we felt like we didn't have the spirit while teaching Carol. So we asked our elders in our district to give us a blessing and then we prayed so hard to be guided by the spirit to know what to say. Our third lesson was awesome. WE taught by the spirit and not by Spanish! Carol said she felt the spirit! AH it made me so happy. I cant wait have so many more experiences like that in Nicaragua.
Yesterday was a day that really brought my district together. We had a devotional and at the end of the devotional President Pratt told Elder Christensen, who is in my district, to come up after. Uh yeah that is not good. The rest of the district went back to the class to wait for him and his comp to return. I just didn't have a good feeling and felt like something happened to his family. I told my district my feelings and Elder najarian suggested we say a prayer which we did. Elder Christensen walked in and told us his grandma passed away. It just broke my heart. Yes i cried. He shared some amazing insights that the Lord had given him that day and he bore his testimony. There was such a sweet spirit in the room that no one wanted to break. We all gave him encouragement and became like a family. We all kinda bore our testimonies about the plan of salvation. you know how grandpa told me there were other people on the veil helping me on my mission? I told Elder Christensen that and how his grandma was with him. Ah the spirit was so strong. Elders were crying, my comp was crying, I was crying. It was such an amazing experience. So keep Elder Christensen and his family in your prayers! It sounds like his family needs them.
I have learned so much here already its crazy! Sundays here are seriously the best day every! You are just so spiritually fed. This week I have relied so much on our Savior to get through this. Most every morning I wake up wondering how I can do this for 18 months. But before I know it, it is the end of the day! He has given me so much strength and comfort. I know this will be hard. That is why it is called missionary WORK. I love the quote, a mission isn't easy because salvation isn't easy. SO TRUE. I love it here! It is hard and I think about you all a lot but I know it is what I am suppose to be doing. I love you all SO much! I am so grateful to have a loving family who supports me and has taught me correct gospel principles.
LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Try to write me because I have no time to email everyone! AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO GRANDMA!!!! I HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT BIRTHDAY!!!! Have a wonderful week and I cant wait to hear from you all next week!! love you love you love you!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Howell
Oh and my p days are Wednesday so you should get an email every Wednesday but not at the same time each week! I went to the temple today, it is so gorgeous! I thought of you aunt steph with decorating the temples! I loved it!

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