Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Stomach Bugs, Crawling Bugs, Earthquakes, Gun Shots, Oh My!! - Sister Hannah Avery

Written by Sister Hannah Avery, currently studying at the Mexico Missionary Training Center (MTC) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In four weeks, Sister Avery will report to the Chile Vina del Mar Mission, speaking Spanish.

Hola familia y amigos! (Hello family and friends!)

How in the world are you guys?! I have had the most amazing week! Much better than last week. This week FLEW by, and I can't believe that today marks my THIRD week in the MTC! Crazy!! How are the kids doing in school? They started this week, right? It feels weird to not be there for that. Jake looks like he is doing great! I loved his pictures from this week! That boy will work miracles and bring many people to Christ! I heard from Kolby this week as well, and he seems to be doing great! I love hearing his advice. He is the guinea pig for me, and I get the answers to everything mission related from him and Jake. I am so grateful to have all of this support from them, and all of you, while I am out here!

So what happened this week... let's see. Well, the day after P-Day (preparation day) last week (Wednesday) everyone was up all night with a really bad bug, yes, including me. I am not sure what it was, but we all think that it was the food. The food, like I said last week, is a little sketchy, and we all just put up with it. I have no idea what we ate, but I have never felt so awful in my life, seriously! Pretty much the whole MTC was that way. But, I pushed through it and kept a smile on my face for about an hour at a time, and then basically ran to the bathroom every waking second. It was horrible. But, it is all good now, and I feel good as new :) Maybe that was TMI for you guys, but you know that I say it how it is haha!

I had a lot of really neat experiences with the scriptures this week. One of them was found in Moses 6:31-32. It talks about opening your mouth and the Lord will provide the words for you to speak. That was great for me to hear, because I have been really discouraged with the language. It is NOT easy! But I am getting the hang of it more, and am constantly trying to learn more, whether it is reading the scriptures in Spanish, or studying in class and on my own... and of course speaking the language! That is the BEST way to learn a language. As we always say here, "Hablar Su Idioma"- speak your language! And when you do so, the Lord will fill your mouth and mind with the words which you should speak. I love that!!

Another experience in the scriptures... this one I found thanks to Mom Mom. She wrote me a note in the back of the Spanish hymn book that she bought me. In the note was the scripture Jacob 5:71-72. I was SOOO happy to see that note in there from her! I didn't even know that it was in there until about 4 days ago haha! But it was a great surprise! Anyway, that scripture says, "Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard, for the end is nigh at hand and the season speedily cometh. And if ye labor with your might, with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which shall soon come... and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them." Holy moly! That scripture REALLY helped me this week. So thanks, Mom Mom, for thinking of that and putting it my hymnal! I know that this is not my mission, but is the Lord's mission, and He really IS out here serving it with me! I have some big shoes to fill, don't I?!

Now on to the news about the kids. I am SO proud of all of you! It sounds like you are all doing great in school, your sports, and all of the other activities that you are involved in! I wish I could be there to experience that with you in person, but I can feel your spirits all the way here in Mexico! And I LOVE hearing about what you are all doing! Keep trusting in the Lord and relying on Him for answers and strength, and you will be blessed with ALL of the righteous desires of your heart! :) I love you guys SO much!

Soooooo..... I leave the MTC on September 25th, I think! That is less than a month from now! That is the last day on my schedule, so I think that is when I am out of here and into the real world! haha. And guess when my come home date is?!?!? Jake's birthday!! February 10th, 2015. How cool, right?! You get me a whole 4 days early :)

Here is another scripture reference for you guys. Doctrine and Covenants 80 - Yes, the whole section. It is really short! It says, "Go ye into the world and preach the Gospel to every creature that cometh under the sound of your voice. Wherefore, go ye and preach my Gospel, whether to the north or to the south, to the east or to the west, it mattereth not, for ye cannot go amiss. Therefore, declare the things which ye have heard, and verily believe and know to be true. Behold, this is the will of him who hath called you, your Redeemer, even Jesus Christ."

Talk about a direct message! I literally had tears come to my eyes when I heard that. I felt like it was speaking directly to me. I know that this is where the Lord wants me, and that I was called to this great work. He has blessed me more than I can explain, and I am so grateful to Him for always helping me through the good, the bad and the worse!

I am not ever going to sugar coat things for you guys. I will say it how it is. The MTC is one of the hardest things that I have ever done, but also one of the best. Literally! I have been beyond homesick, cried myself to sleep at night, and I have even cried during class! But this Sunday (the Lord really helps me out, especially on Sundays haha!) all of us Hermanas were given blessings from the Elders in our District. In my blessing, it said that I will be Christlike and will learn Spanish. It told me that I won't have frustration, and that I will be charitable and share the light of Christ with all that I meet. It also said that the Lord has heard all of my prayers, and wanted me to know that, even if I don't always get answers right away. Can I just say that I feel like I am so blessed?? I feel like I am no where close to deserving of all that I have!

So this week we also started teaching two new investigators. Their names are Lenina and Jonatan. Fernando got baptized, yay! These are all fake investigators, but it feels real for sure. Anyway, we only know about these new investigators, but haven't actually taught them yet. So I won't be able to tell you about that stuff until next week.

The food is still super weird here. Like I said, it usually makes us sick, so I guess it is kind of a blessing to get used to that before the mission field food, but I really hope that I don't come home with a million parasites inside me haha! We found a cockroach in the beans 3 days ago. I don't eat those anymore..beans OR cockroaches...YUCK! The meat comes to us in an un-refrigerated food truck and is never thoroughly cooked, so I don't eat that either. So what do I eat? My diet here is basically a bowl of Cocoa Crispies in the morning for breakfast, and then cantaloupe and soup for lunch and dinner LOL! So healthy, right?!

We have had 3 earthquakes since I have been in the MTC too! Weird. I have never felt them, but we do have to evacuate the building every time. And you can hear the gunshots outside the wall! It is because the jail is literally 2 blocks away. It sounds kinda sketchy, but we are totally safe in here :)

Anyway, that is really all that I have for you guys this week (that I have time to write about anyway!). I love you all so very much and pray for all of you every morning and night. I pray for a LONG time since there are so many of you to pray for! haha! But I love it, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I hope that you all truly feel the love of your Savior, and that you know that you can rely on Him for all things, no matter what. He is ALWAYS listening to us!

Yo se que JesuCristo es me Salvador y tiene mucho amor para todas las personas. Dios es nuestros Padre Celestial y tambien tiene mucho amor para todas las personas. Yo se que el Evangelio es verdadero, y Jose Smith es una profeta de Dios. Yo se que Thomas S Monson es una profeta de Dios en nuestro dia. Dios escucha de nuestros oraciones y responde con respuestas en El tiempo.

(Translation: I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and has much love for all people. God is our heavenly Father and also has much love for all people. I know that the Gospel is true, and Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God in our day. God hears our prayers and responds with answers in His time.)

I hope you have a great week and I will talk to you next week! Keep an eye out for pictures too! I love you so much!!!!!!

Con mucho mucho amor, (with much, much love)

Hermana Avery

Sister Avery Finishes Her First Week at the Mexico MTC (August 20, 2013)

Home Away from Home (September 3, 2013)

Our district classroom - This is where we learn
Spanish and study all day, every day.
Me and mi companera, Hermana Page!
She is from Charlotte, NC, and will be
traveling with me to Vina del Mar, Chile.

La Tienda! Our store at the MTC! TREATS!!

The only girls in our district
Me, Hermanas Page, Nelson and Garrett

This is another one of our classrooms
Hermanas Nelson, Garrett, Me, Page
(and an Elder who thinks he's a movie star! ha!)
This is how I'm learning Spanish! In my scriptures, I highlight
the words I don't know in Spanish and I look them up and
write the meaning above it in English. It's working!!