HELLO EVERYONE!!! I hope you are all having a GREATTTT week!! Monday doesn’t have to be the worst day of the week…you can read my blog and cheer up…just sayin…
Putting the orgullo aside, HOW ARE YOU ALL?! Gosh, i miss you so much. All of you. Wow, hhaha okay, highlight of the week?
I ate hoof soup…yes. the hooves.
So, every day we have a “mamita” for lunch, but on tuesday she couldn’t give us food. So, we went to some restaurant nearby. Most restaurants here in Ibarra are really just rooms attached to houses with garage-like doors. They open up the room, put a table and chairs out and cook out of their kitchen for you. You usually just go in and say “Quiero un almuerzo.” It’s not like the U.S where you choose whatever you want–whatever they have, you’re eating. So we didn’t even ask because it’s usually just a soup, then a plate of rice, chicken, beans, bananas, and a coca cola. Nope. Not this time. So the hoof still had some leg bones attached and whatnot…it was not pleasant. Buuuuut then the woman told us to eat the bone marrow…weirdest thing? That was the best part! It tasted like hard boiled eggs. The rest was SO tough and literally i couldn’t even chew it. The one piece I ate, I had to swallow it big because I couldn’t chew it. hahah SO GROSS. Never again will I ate that.
Also, something I have been doing this week is buying bread every day (claro!) ……for the dogs. hahaha Since there are SO MANY dogs where we go, and literally I can’t even count how many times I’ve almost been attacked now, I pull a gretal. Ya know, hansel and gretal…(sp?) I just throw the bread at them and then they follow me. hahah It was the most hilarious thing actually. At one point, hermana Zaragoza and me were walking through this neighborhood with this pack of dogs following us. Everyone on the streets were either laughing, smiling, and just shaking their heads…I can’t say I’m ashamed of it though because I AM NOT GETTING ATTACKED!
Moving on. Another highlight of the week? I got pooped on by a bird. Apparently it’s good luck. But, I mean, I wasn’t a fan of bird poop in my hair. Not a fan.
SOOO! Okay this week I got THREE packages!!! Shoutout to Hermana Hill (my comp from the ccm) for sending a box full of dove chocolate, oreos, hot cocoa mix, and popcorn!!!! What the heck! She is amazing and the best person ever. Also–mom, I FINALLY got the “1” package from Christmas!! Sorry, I’m not setting up the Christmas tree…buuuut I LOVED THE REST! Oh, and I think it took so long because they opened it. Half of the presents you wrapped were ripped open…so I’m going to send you another message telling you what i got JUST in case 😉 I also got your Valentine’s present and the Reese’s taste SO GOOD. I miss peanut butter. so much. AAAAnd I put the Valentines decorations up 🙂 Love you all! Thanks for that! 🙂
Okay, so other than those things I can’t remember anything else of much importance…
I read D&C 123:17 this last week and it hit me hard. It says “Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power.” Cheerfully. I really like that. I am trying to keep my positivity up when things don’t go the way I want them to also because I am doing the things that are in my power…and I am working as hard as I possibly can. And if they don’t work out, it’s either because it’s the will of God or because what happened was in the power of someone else. Not me.
I really think I am learning who I am on this mission. I came here to change lives, but the people, culture, and experiences here are changing mine. My companion is helping me realize some quirks I have and some of the things she points out don’t make me feel the best. But they give me the desire to change. In my last email I talked about change and how anyone can do it. I know that to be true, and I am currently in the process. Yes, it’s hard. But nothing worthwhile is easy, so you just have to suck it up and be better.
I have been focusing on those two words a lot these past few weeks. I set them as my goal for every week. It may be broad, but it covers everything for me:
Be better spiritually: I want to have an unbreakable testimony. I am learning, as I meet some people who ask a lot of questions, that I really don’t know as much as I should. But I know that is a process. Thomas S. Monson himself is still learning. The prophet, people! We should always be learning more about our Heavenly Father and His plan for us. So how am I going to achieve an unbreakable testimony? I am going to study the topics I consider to be my weak spots. It’s amazing the power that’s present as we read scriptures with the Spirit. If you want to know, and be certain of it, say a prayer and ask to have the Holy Ghost with you and then read on. Read scriptures about that topic, and the Holy Ghost will help you know what you need to know to be strengthened in that aspect of your testimony.
Be better physically: We are supposed to work out every morning and truuuuly I have probably worked out on my mission about 7 times. I am trying to get up with more energy, being happier and motivate my companion to work out with me because it’s a rule and rules are there for a reason! We really do have more energy if we work out, and we are happier.
Be better emotionally: I focus more on the people here to stay away from being homesick. I focus more on my companion’s needs because I am training her and she is mi hija so she is most important right now. It’s pretty crazy knowing that I am in charge of 22 year old and she is going to reflect the things I do. I need to be a good example for her. I am doing more things that I like so I can relax more and have a better attitude every day! I draw, write poems, make collages, jumprope, play soccer….and i try and make some things more into games. haha like showering for example; seeing how fast i can shower and trying to get faster at it each time (i have to…the water is ice cold)
Be a better friend: There are some people here in the mission who like to know everything about everyone and sometimes it seems like gossip or, chismes. I am staying away from that because it doesn’t help anyone. And who cares that someone is doing something wrong…that’s life. Everyone messes up, you’ve messed up, i’ve messed up…get over it! I try my best to be friends with everyone…to love everyone even when they might be rude. There are some members and some investigators that aren’t my favorite to visit because well…you don’t get along with EVERYONE in the mission. haha, but I love them still. They may have said some rude things in the past, but we gain character and strength through killing people like that with kindness. It says in the scriptures a million times to love the ones who hate you. The ones who dispitefully use you. And guess what? When you do that, you feel happier and you can soften their hearts. Get to know one another better. Get to know why someone is the way the are. Don’t judge. Judging may be habit as human beings, but you can push those thoughts away and think of the best in the people you meet. Everyone has good in them. Everyone. You just have to get them to open their hearts to you and you’ll feel true Christ like love for them. And how do you get them to open their hearts to you? By serving them. By getting to know them–showing that you caaaare about them.
This “be better” thing might sound a little funny and maybe some of the things I said are just….silly….but I mean it. Honestly, I don’t know exactly who I am. And I am trying to become the person I want to be. I am trying to be better in every aspect of my life and this is the perfect time to do it. There are so many humbling experiences on this mission and they are changing me. But I have to actually act on some things I want to change too. We can sit back and let the world shape who we are, or we can take the initiative and make the changes ourselves–and in the end, we’ll be happier that way. Be who you want to be. Be who God wants you to be. Be better than you are with each day that throws opportunities at you to change.
“The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best medicine for despair is service. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired.” Gordan B Hinkley
How beautiful is that? We need to be more like that. You worried? Take the initiative and do something about it. Work hard. Feeling down? Serve someone! There is power in that…and you can only feel that if you truly serve someone willingly and see them as God sees them. You feel defeated? Exhausted from life? Exhausted from work? Exhausted from raising a family? Exhausted from the trials you’ve faced? Help someone who is going through something harder. It seems like working would only make you more exhausted, but there is more spiritual energy that comes through love and through service. Our bodies and souls don’t work alone on physical energy. Remember that a “soul” is both body and spirit. There are two parts. When your body’s tired..when your mind is exhausted or depressed, find energy from the other source, your spirit, until you’re strong again. Just LOVE everyone! Stop judging people. Stop holding grudges. Stop gossiping. Stop making excuses. Be better!!
So, be better. Be the person you want to be. Find out what God wants you to do. Learn to love and understand everyone. Jeffrey R. Holland once said, “If the bitter cup does not pass, drink it.” Get through your trials with dignity and come out conquerer.
The only other thing I have to say is that today we played capture the flag. I played in socks and I now have quite a few heridas. but hey, VALE LA PENA! Stay cool, stay happy, and be better! 🙂 Ta ta for now,
ps–My name is actually Annie. Because everyone here pronounces my name that way…with a little hint of a “D” before Annie. It’s whatever. Love you all!