Well, I am really bad at email organization and the weeks are seriously starting to fly by, so I am going to try and summarize the main events of each day. Sorry if it doesn't make a lot of sense.
Last P day was harder than I anticipated. I actually cried while emailing, but it was still better than I imagined. I am consistently shocked that I am this functional and happy to be here when I miss you all so dang much. It is truly a blessing that I believe is predicated on the faith of my family. So thank you so much. The MTC was super empty until like Thursday because all the North Americans got stuck all over like we did so it was a little freaky. There were like 40 of us in all, but it was fun and relaxing.
Wednesday was good! Just lots of classes. All of the days are really similar to each other. Funny moments of Wednesday were when Hermana Bott was trying to say she was sad because it is hard to find oatmeal in Peru, but she accidentally said she was sinning because there was no oatmeal in Peru, and I almost died laughing. Well I almost die laughing every day. Language barriers are great. We had a first lesson with our new investigator. She was late that morning and it was super frustrating. She had a short time and lots of questions. So we just went in circles. Our Spanish was bad and we never really got to a point. It was frustrating. Then that night we were teaching the other districts and one of the other girls was saying something super deep when all of a sudden she just took off running because she had a bathroom emergency and I laughed so hard I cried. Hard. It was priceless.
Thursday was just another day of classes. Me and Hermana Bott have long edifying talks about life, and the scriptures, and families, and testimonies during our like three hour study time. It is brutal and I love it. I am full of love and incredible gratitude for amy awesome district. We are super close and we never have any drama or anything. We just laugh and learn and support each other. It is a massive blessing. I fee so close to Heaven and the Spirit here. It is insane. It is almost palpable. I am so grateful. I really love the MTC. I am actually a little nervous to leave it and go into the field now.
Friday was Valentines Day!1 So Happy VDay again! It is actually Hermana Bott's favorite holiday for some unknown reason, which is funny. She was like giddy. Haha. She had to go to Interpol that day so I had to be in a trio. It felt weird without her, just when I had gotten used to it. During study time a hermana came over and talked to me about some of the struggles she was having and we just talked and talked. The two other sisters come over and we talked for the whole time, but I think we all needed it. The Spanish is getting frustrating and it is hard to stay positive. Then when Hermana Bott got back, she was super frustrated. Which I thought she would be because going to Interpol or Immigration just generally makes you feel like an American moron. Which is accurate, but still... So I talked to her and it is just so nice to be going through the same things. :)
MTC time paradox: You always feel like the District 2 weeks ahead of you is like 5 years older and the one behind you is 5 years younger. It is insane. I feel at least 5 years older since I left. I think we have aged. It is sort of hilarious.
Saturday. Holy crap there are so many people here now. I sort of regret ever wishing they would get here. Now the showers are crammed after physical activity so we are going to have to adjust our schedule. Meh. Oh well, I love them all! Our Latino roommates are sweet and we got two North Americans too, who I also love.
Sunday was actually super relaxing. Everyone always says that but I have hated them until this Sunday. We didn't have a lot to do because they were playing catch up wit the new district so we had 4 hours of study/talk time and it was amazing. I love Hermana Bott. I feel like we have been friends forever. We have been so blessed. We have like the strongest companionship in our zone. I love all the girls going to Lima South as well. It is a huge blessing. That night we watched an MTC broadcast by Elder Anderson. He said to sacrifice what you love and love what you sacrifice. So I have been trying to contemplate that this week. Obviously I am sacrificing time with you guys to serve a mission, because I love you so much and want others to have what I have. Ah. I love you guys so dang much.
Monday, hahaha. Monday was great actually. And I really remember it because it was, well, yesterday. That morning me and Hermana Bott had a lesson with our investigator again. We decided to teach some commandments because the lessons were going really well and you have to teach those anyway, so why not get them out of the way. So, we were going to teach obedience, law of chastity, word of wisdom, and pray often. Well, we were already pretty nervous about the chastity part, and then I was in charge of that part. Once I finished my spiel, she said she didn't believe it because her parents never got married and separated after they had her, so why even try. And after I just talked in circles about how God loves families and loves marriage and she should want that for her future family. I looked at Bott in desperation and she just saw divorce in the heading of Matthew chapter 19, so we had her read it. We started reading it in Spanish and instantly realized we had made a huge mistake. I could hardly contain my laughter and it was like it blew up and we spend the next 30 minutes putting out horrible, horrible flames. It was priceless. But it was actually one of our best lessons because we just talked. It was awesome. The Spanish is so frustrating although it is coming along now. Ah. Actually I really feel like I know just enough Spanish to really jack up the meaning of things. Hahaha, oh well, it will come I am sure! The Spanish was a little frustrating this week. Well, a lot. On Monday we had a breakdown. Thankfully it was uncontrollable laughter and not tears. Haha. Last night they paired us with a brand new Latina companionship to teach and it was GREAT. Our Spanish was amazing and theirs was completely understandable the whole time, and it put me on a high. Ah. We love those two Latinas now.
TODAY. We got to go to the temple!!!!! I have never been so happy and nervous to go in my whole life. We got there and they gave us our clothes and then we went to change. We were in charge of one of the younger districts, and it was hilarious because we had no idea what to do either. Once we were finally dressed, they started handing out headsets. But they didn't have enough and the room didn't have enough for all of the Hermana companionships in my District as well as 2 companionships in the younger one. They were 6 headsets short. So we went headsetless. It was terrifying, and they put us in a separate room because our group was too big, AND WE UNDERSTOOD. Some of it was spotty, but it was amazing. And it was amazing to be in there with people I feel so close to. I could have stayed there all day. Then we just ran around Lima trying to get to stores for the newbies who need stuff. Bott got ripped off for a soccer jersey because she is white and clueless. Made my day:) I feel so old, in a good way though.:)
Apparently there are packages here for me!!! I haven't gotten them yet, but I am sure I will love them. Also apparently there was an earthquake last week and we didn't even feel it. So never worry about those. I didn't take many pictures this week. Next week I will have more I think. Today was just busy because we had to be responsible for others, which was a terrible idea. Hahaha. I love you so much. I can't even express it. I am so grateful for you:) Best family ever. No joke!
Hermana Lauren Bailey