Monday, October 28, 2013

Flower Juice!

Hello to the most wonderful people in the world!

How is everyone doing? I am so glad that you all received my letters this week! Ah I just love you all so much. I hope you know that. Talking about how much I love you all, I hit my first wall of homesickness since I left, but as all the missionaries here say, I was "trunki." Meaning, I wanted to pack up my bag and head home or something like that. I miss you all so much. It is hard to know that life is going on for everyone and I am missing all of it. I am a little worried that everything will be so different when I get home. Every day this week I thought of my wonderful family and friends and tried not to cry. It just kinda hit me that I wouldn't see everyone for sixteen more months. It is difficult knowing I won't be there for Christmas, see Natalie run in cross country meets, eat Mom's good food, talk to Dad about boy problems, help Miss with college, and watch Ethan's basketball games. So that was kinda a struggle this week but it has slowly been getting better. I have tried to apply what President Hinckley was told, "forget yourself and go to work."
Hermana Mendez and me Roaring

So guess what I ate this week? Flower juice! It was the strangest thing ever! It was pretty good but it was this really vivid violet color. Everyone here comments how I am weird because I don't buy junk food at the store and I don't eat huge plates of food like they do. Whatever, I don't want to come home some rolly polly sister missionary. But Mom and Dad, don't worry, I am still eating plenty! I have gained three pounds sadly. I am so lucky though because I haven't gotten sick at all here! Everyone else has vomited and such but nope, not me. 

 I feel so dumb here because everyone comments how bad my Spanish is. Like for example, I will say something and no one will understand. Then my comp repeats it and she says the exact same words I did and they understand. Ugh it is so frustrating! I have been praying a lot to have an immense love for the people. This past week, I have read this quote so many times: "We should cultivate the capacity to see people not how they are now but how they can become." I have begun to apply this quote into my life and it totally changed my way of looking at people. Every time I would contact someone or be teaching someone, I would picture them dressed in white ready to be baptized. This just brought me so much joy and love for them. I could feel Christ´s love for them and I wanted to help them come unto  Christ. There are some days that I have struggled with this but I continue to push on and remember that God knows I am strong enough to do this.

My new nickname, Hermana Barbie!
I officially have a baurracho stalker or in English a drunk stalker. This dude is always drunk. It is just sad. Anyways, every time he sees me he starts yelling at me. hahaha but one day he came up to me and my comp flipped out and yelled NO molesta mi companera! HAHAHA I was dying because he totally ran away. So many people always yell "chicita" or "goodbye my love". Oh man it is pretty funny. Today someone yelled, "Barbie! Barbie is real!" hahahahha um, no. It is pretty entertaining! Also, I am slowly learning the language of the Nicas here which has helped me feel like I am starting to fit in! And guess who called me this week. The one and only Wilsynn! Such a great surprise! We talked for about half an hour about the mission. It was so good to talk to her! I don't know when I will get to see her but I am hoping it is soon!

Hermanas and me, with a local hermana from the ward

Days like I had on Wednesday make me love my calling as a representative of the Lord. Hermana Hawkins' comp has been sick all week so she has been with us basically the whole week. Yea, someone who can understand me! Anyways, Wednesday was the first day in the field that I could see people preparing for baptism. First was our investigator. We met him in the street and we have taught him four times. He is so receptive of the gospel but he won't come to church which has been frustrating. Next was this other woman Marìa. She had already read the Book of Mormon and has a testimony of Joseph Smith and just wants to receive an answer that she needs to get baptized. Next is this amazing kid named Mario. He is eleven years old and is basically the dad of his family. He works everyday and takes care of his little sister. He is such an amazing example to me! He goes to church every Sunday by himself and this week he came up to us and said he wanted to get baptized. AHH OK!! So we began teaching him and it has just been awesome. Straight up golden investigators. We also had a stellar day of contacting too! We contacted 22 people, seven priesthood holders, and five families. Seeing people in white totally helps. I just have this instant love for everyone we talk to. While we were tracting that night I saw my very first lightning bug! Those things are so legit! 

Thunder clouds rolling over a street in Leon
This week has definitely been a week of up and downs. I have learned things about myself that I don't like and need to change which has been humbling. Two days ago was a pretty difficult day for me. I was struggling with everything, the language, and just continuing to adjust to missionary life. But scriptures and General Conference talks come to the rescue. Christ is here for me and can help me through everything that I will experience here. I just need to have faith in him. I was reading in the Book of Mormon and 3 Nephi 18:24 and 25 just stood out to me. Christ is my light and I have the opportunity to preach and share his message. I also learned I need to be patient during trials. Christ suffered so much and what I am going through is nothing compared to me. In Elder Maynes general conference talk he stated, "Try your very best to follow the spiritual stamina of Christ." Christ endured all which means I can endure all as well. I just love this so much! Christ is such an amazing example and I am so grateful for all the help he has given me in my life! This is tough but I know that this is what God wants me to do right now in my life. 

I love you all so much and am so grateful to have such an amazing family! Thanks for all your support and love! In less that two months I get to see your hot faces through Skye! SO PUMPED!! Have a wonderful week! 

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Howell

Funny moment of the week:

We are teaching this family and they have a boy who is eighteen and he actually reminds me a lot of Pierre. Anyways, after the lesson we were talking about how tall I am. He then states, "Your shoes are sexy." HAHA WHAT!? I was wearing those hideous clunky sister missionary shoes. Ah it made me laugh so hard. 

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