Wow! Where to start? I'm really loving it already! The Wednesday that I came in, there were a record breaking 940 new missionaries entering. So many things are packed into such a short amount of time! We just study and eat and study and then eat and then study and then eat and then study and then sleep and start again the next day. We sit all day in the same classroom, so it's so nice when we switch things up and go on temple walks or go to devotional.
This week was the first ever devotional at the Marriott Center with all the missionaries from both campuses. There were so many people that we had police ushering us across the street because we were a traffic hazard. It was really neat to have that many people there, we truly are an army.
My district is great! The Elders are very funny so sometimes it's easy to get distracted but we mostly keep each other on track. My companion, Hermana Howard is wonderful! She's 21 and from King City California. We laugh a lot to relieve stress and we work really well together. We already feel like we've known each other forever! There are only 4 Eldéres and 6 Hermanas. The boys are all going to Chile and then me and 3 other hermanas are going to Salta.
I see a lot of friends around here. Especially Hermana Heather Higgs. We're on the same eating/study/gym session so we've had plenty of time to talk to each other. I did see Amber Ellefsen like you mentioned. As part of our class we were supposed to go outside and find 5 contacts to introduce ourselves to and then bear and apply our testimony in Spanish. So I saw her, gave her a hug and then my companion and I shared our testimony. We traded off speaking Spanish and translating for each other, so that's what she's basing her comments about us sounding like we'd already been here for the whole six weeks. Her trio then did the same in Japanese. It was really neat because we could still feel the Spirit even though we couldn't understand their words.
My high school Spanish has been flooding back to me. Being here made me realize how much I learned from Señora Hofer. I mean of course there's a lot for me to learn but we've already taught four lessons in Spanish and it didn't feel impossible at all. Our investigator's name was Erasmo. The lessons got progressively better and we were able to share time better. My companion hasn't had as many years of Spanish as me and it's been longer since she last took those classes. Also, she is majoring in early childhood special education and has taken classes on speech therapy so sometimes that messes her up because she has been so trained on how to pronounce things correctly in English and so it makes it difficult for her to pronounce the Spanish alphabet right. I sound less like a gringa than I did a week ago, so that's good! For the most part I can find adequate words to get my thoughts across. I'm just slow and simple in my speech. My teacher here is Hermana Williams and I really like her. I feel very blessed with how the Spanish is coming. I remember being so frustrated in school because I couldn't understand the teacher well and couldn't answer questions well either, but I'm not too frustrated here because I feel like I understand the majority. I mean of course she talks slow and all that but still.
We will have the opportunity to sing in the choir for the worldwide training broadcast so you might see my pretty face if you watch it. And it will be AMAZING! I'm really excited!
I've had a really smooth transition here. The only thing is that I already feel like I'm sick of wearing the clothes I have, so that's going to bit a bit rough. But I'm too busy to think about home much. Although there are two Hermanas in my district that were supposed to go to the Peru MTC but couldn't because of visa issues--lots of people here are in that boat--so that reminds me about Amanda, a lot. There are other hermanas in my zone that are going to Peru too. They just started their 6th week but have been assigned by the travel office to spend a 7th week here and then they'll be temporarily assigned to a United States mission, so that may happen to me too.
I know missionaries have always said they love mail but never understood how much until now! If you want you can use dearelder.com to send letters. It's just as easy as email but they print it off and put it in the mailbox so I get to read it the day it's sent instead of having to wait a whole week to have access to my email.
Hope all is going well at home!
P.S. I hope this letter is better and more detailed than the ones Ryan sent when he was on his mission!