Thursday, February 13, 2014

Second Week In The Mission Training Center/ Am I at the MTC or Spanish Camp????

February 11, 2014
Hola familia!!
This past week has been absolutely wonderful overall!! I just love being here at the CCM (Centro de Capacation (sp?) Misional aka MTC) so much! I seriously feel like I'm living in the temple even though the temple is seriously like 20 yards from the building I'm in right now. It's awesome!! I feel the happiest I¨ve ever been in my life!  My trials here, unlike most people´s, have been more physical than mental.  Getting here was exhausting and then this past week I got pretty sick AND conjunctavitis (sp?) in both eyes.. Because just learning spanish by itself isn´t hard enough.  BUT it only lasted like 4 days and I´m all better now so no worries!  The Elders in my district who I just LOVE were so sweet and one night asked if they could give me a blessing.  The blessing brought back in the peace and comfort that I really needed and after going to the doctor my eyes were cleared up really quickly!  I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing Elders and I know the power of Priesthood is real.  It´s such a blessing to all of us and I can´t wait to share the happiness it brings to our lives with the people in Viña! 
The temple here is SOOO amazing!  We saw the B film as they called it when I was a temple worker, so the one I saw when I went through for the first time. Only this time we were the ones with headphones so we could hear it in english.  I didn´t really wear mine though because I wanted to see how much I could understand on my own and luckily I understood a lot of it!  I don{t know if it was because I´ve just seen it a lot of times and already knew in my mind or if my spanish is getting better but it was still soo cool!! 
Spanish lessons have been going slow but well!  I feel so blessed to have been able to take as much spanish as I did before I got here!  I feel like the Lord was preparing me for this long before I even knew this would be a possibility for me.  It´s funny, in class I feel like I have a hold on the language enough to communicate and understand but then we go out onto temple grounds to practice talking with real people I can hardly understand what people are saying!  They talk SO FAST!!!  But are so kind and patient!  I can definitely speak it a lot better than understand but hopefullly as time goes on it will get better.  We continue to teach lessons to "investigators" which are really our teachers and they have been going so well!!  Hermana Watt (mi compañera) and I love teaching our teacher Hermana Cabrera (who is AMAZING by the way, she served in London, and is just so amazing!!  I hope one day to be someone like her) Whenever we teach her the spirit is so strong and when we committed her to baptism we were all in tears!  She gives us a lot of confidence with teaching, especially in spanish. Last night we were teaching her aka ¨Karen¨ who is an inactive member and it was our first visit so we just wanted to get to know her.  We had a little message planned which we had put a lot of time into planning and translating but as we were talking to her and she was explaining her situation we realized our lesson wasn´t what she needed to hear.  I looked at Hermana Watt and she knew too and what happened next was INCREDIBLE!!  Hermana Watt was able to relate a story of one of her friends back home who went through a similar situation but came out on top and do it all in spanish! Hermana Watt took a few years of spanish in school too but doesn{t remember anything so it´s been really hard for her to speak and understand.  Plus I think she gets embarrassed easily so she gets a little fearful and quiet in lessons when we go off script.  But she did it!!  It wasn´t perfect of course but the second she started speaking the spirit came into the room so quick and so strong and she was able to get her message across.  Then I was able to testify of forgiveness and how Christ is always waiting for us with his arms outstretched.  It was crazy! Words came out of my mouth that I didn{t even know I knew in spanish!  In that moment I truly learned that as important the Spanish language is so I can communicate with the Chilean people, the language of the spirit is MOST IMPORTANT!  Because they can understand spanish with their ears, but they will understand the spirit with their heart and that is how people learn and change.  I know these little lessons are just practice, but they are very real to us missionaries and it´s experiences like that that make me so excited to get out in the field!!  Spanish is hard but honestly it´s never been a concern to me here!  Ever since I´ve got set apart I just feel so at peace about it and know that it´s going to come with time and work.  And trust me, I´m working!! 
Sundays here at the CCM are SO AMAZING!!!  In one of our morning classes we get to watch devotionals of when general authorities spoke to the Provo MTC and this past week we watched Jeffrey R. Holland´s address from January 2011!  Oh.My.Gosh. We all know Holland is AMAZING but this one was soooo WONDERFUL!!  He spoke about Preach My Gospel and what a powerful, inspired tool it is for us missionaries.  And it is.  I love it so much!  But the most powerful part was at the end when he spoke about Peter and the apostles after Christ died and they went back fishing.  He used the story in one of his past conference talks about feeding sheep so it was kind of familiar to me already, but as a missionary it took on so much more meaning.  He spoke of when Jesus asked Peter if he loved him and Peter is like of course and Jesus goes on to ask him the question 2 more times (3 was probably a sensitive number to Peter at this time..) But as Elder Holland was saying ¨Do you love me? THEN FEED MY SHEEP¨ His deliverence of those words.. I swear it was not Elder Holland anymore, it was Christ using Elder Holland´s body speaking directly to me.  I lost it.  I never have felt the spirit so strong!  You know, that really is the question for all eternity.. ¨Do you love Him?¨ I cannot be, I cannot say, I cannot become the missionary I need to be, that Heavenly Father knows I can be, unless I love Him.  And I do!!  Please know that I love my Savior SO MUCH and with ALL MY HEART!!  I could not be here, doing the things I´m doing, speaking the foreign words I´m speaking if I did not love Him.  The most humbling part of the talk was when he said ¨We have a world in trouble but you´re God´s answer.  You are the Hope of Isreal and you´re 19 years old.¨  I feel so blessed to be here, to be a missionary.  I feel so blessed that God trusts me enough to give me this responsibility and I will always do my best to live up to this wonderful calling!
Hermana Watt and I also taught Relief Society this week!  She taught on repentence and I taught on baptism!  I couldn´t help but think of you mom and how awesome you´re talk was on baptism a few weeks ago!  I may have stole a few things you said, I hope you don{t mind :)  Everyone came up afterward and said really nice things about the lesson so I think it went well. 
Classes continue to go well.  We have class 12 hours a day, 6 days a week so it´s a lot but I love it!  For P-day today I tried my first authentic empanadas and they were awesome!!   And we found a gelato place which was even more awesome!!  It was just Hermana Watt and I walking the streets of Santiago and everyone was hard staring at us and all the old men would tell us how pretty our hair is, just like the sun haha!
Tell everyone at Tina´s hello for me!! They´re awesome and I´m not suprised the chickens love the lettuce, Tina´s is the best!!  And you´re awesome for trying to use the iphone! Sorry if you get any random texts from people for me.. haha but I know you can do it! If I can learn spanish you can learn apple language!

I love you all SO much! But I´m never returning from my mission.  I love it so much!  I´ll forever feed His sheep.  I hope everything is going well for you all and you´re ín my prayers multiple times a day!!  I can´t wait to hear from you next week!!
Con todo el amor en mi corozon!
Hermana Evans
P.S. Again sorry if I sound like a crazy person because I don{t have time to read through it
Santiago MTC building
Santiago, MTC

Santiago, Chile Temple

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