Monday, December 10, 2012

Letter #12 & #13

Letter #13

Hola! Que tal?

This week my testimony of divine guidance was strengthened. I know that the companionships in the mission are definitely inspired by our Heavenly Father, and I know President was inspired to send Sister Sheffield up here. She's a Spanish-speaking missionary and in the last couple weeks our teaching pool has gone from all English-speakers to almost all Spanish-speakers! A couple days ago we had three lessons and they were all in Spanish. Good thing she's up here with me, because otherwise things would be a little tough. :) I still feel pretty useless in the Spanish lessons, but I've been working a lot on my Spanish and it's improved a ton. My reading ability has dramatically improved and I'm getting a lot better at understanding the language when I hear it. I still get nervous when I actually try to speak it, though, and it seems like the words I want never come to mind. One of our investigators, Nadia, makes me pray every time we teach her so that I can practice speaking. It's good for me, I know. :) And Sister Sheffield assures me that my Spanish is actually really good.

I don't have a ton to write about this week...we had the Christmas mission conference, which was really fun. Unfortunately I felt like the work didn't really progress much this week, and that was frustrating. The first week Sis. Sheffield was here we had a whole string of awesome spiritual lessons and set a handful of people with baptismal dates, but this week all of those people seemed to fall off the face of the planet. All of a sudden we don't have a ton of solid people that we're working with and it's pretty discouraging...especially since the elders in our ward have baptized for the last three weeks in a row. sigh. Oh well. I guess that's missionary work for ya.

Also, in other news...Travis is engaged. Yeah. I found out on Saturday...I'm not going to disclose how, heh....but let's just say I wish I could have seen my face when I found out. Pure shock. (Sis Sheffield said she'd wished she had her camera out and ready to capture the moment) But at the same time, it wasn't a total surprise...I'd kind of had a feeling that day that something of that nature had occurred, so even though actually reading the words was shocking, in a way it was just a confirmation of the impression I'd already received. And guess what? I am totally, perfectly fine about the matter. After I found out, I kept watching myself that night to see Okay, am I going to cry about this? And...nothing! Not a single tear. I guess I really am over him. I know that I'm supposed to be here and that despite his many great qualities, Travis obviously wasn't the one for me. I hadn't really pegged him as the 3-month engagement type, but I wish him the best and I do hope that this quick engagement brings him lasting happiness.

Being out here has really helped me to recognize that the mission is where I'm supposed to be and that Travis was not who I'm supposed to end up with. I am obviously a much stronger person than I was a few months ago, because news like this probably would have sent me into fits of tears and jealousy. Being out here has helped strengthen my trust in the Lord's timing and His plan, and it has also helped me to rely on Him for strength. I guess it's also softened my heart, since I really don't feel anything negative or bitter towards Travis at all! It's cool to be able to recognize some of the changes that have already occurred in my personality since being out here.

So, that's the news from Port St. Lucie for today. Guess I ended up with a very typical missionary "Dear Jane" story after all. I probably should have called that one; sure, Travis reassured me, "I'll be here when you get home!!" but I should have known better. My life is MUCH too ironic for that to have worked out.

But you know me, I always love a good story. And him being engaged in 3-months will be a MUCH better tale to relate than if he'd found someone 8 or 9 months in. :) So I guess all's well that ends well.

(Although I do wonder how many boys' extended families I will have to meet before I finally end up settling down with someone. I feel like I've met enough cousins and aunts and uncles of past boyfriends to fill a whole city.)

Also, it still does not feel like December here.


sister dougal

Letter 12

So last week my missionary world got turned upside down as I sent my dear Sister Spjut home to Ohio and got a new companion!
My new companion's name is Sister Sheffield...actually Hermana Sheffield, which is AWESOME, because that means now I get to do language study every day! Woohoo! I am super excited about getting to practice and use my Spanish more often. It's coming a lot easier now...I'm still a little afraid to actually open my mouth and speak in Spanish, but I'm at the point where I can understand a lot of it. Everything is coming back really quickly from my high school Spanish classes! Yay!
Sis. Sheffield is from Utah and has been out on her mission for 15 months, so she only has a few months left. Wonder if I'll end up killing off another companion...? I was trying not to be nervous about transfers but when it came down to it I was really scared to take over the area, especially as I looked at my planner for Wednesday (the day I got my new comp) and realized that we had nothing planned! I would be bringing home a new sister and we didn't have any plans for the day! Before they announced who my new companion would be I was actually so nervous (and also a bit excited, don't worry) that I was actually shaking. I'd met most of the other sisters who were there at transfers but I hadn't actually met her, so when they called her name I didn't even know who she was.
The first couple days I definitely missed Sister Spjut. :( Getting a new companion is just such a strange thing, esp. for me since I'd only had one so far. It's kind of like having a stranger move into your apartment...actually, that's EXACTLY what it is! Haha. But things have been great so far. She and Sister Spjut are definitely very different people, but Sis. Sheffield and I are getting along great. We actually had a really great week this last week--lots of super amazing lessons, we left TONS of blessings, set a few baptismal dates, etc. Taking over the area was good for me, too, because I was so nervous about being inadequate or coming off as the "new" missionary that it pushed me to be super proactive instead. So I've been really on-top of setting appointments, checking up on people, and on asking members to come out and teach with us. So numbers-wise, this last week was definitely one of the best weeks of my mission! Luckily Sis. Sheffield knows what she's doing, so that's made it easier to adjust, too. So far it seems like we teach really well together. It looks like this will be a great transfer. :)
Had a great couple last days with Sister Spjut. For our p-day last week, we went mini-golfing with the elders! It was so fun! And I swear, despite what the pictures may look like, it was NOT a double date! Hahahaha. I love these elders. Every now and then they'll say or do something and I'll remember, Wow, you are TOTALLY a 20-year-old boy. So that was a really fun day. That night we drove down to Coral Springs, which is close to Ft. Lauderdale, since Sister Spjut had to be in Ft. Laud at 5:30 am the next morning. We stayed the night with 2 of the sisters there, which was also fun!
Well...that's about it. Looking forward to another great week. I LOVE seeing all the Christmas decorations that people have put up! I'm also excited to hear from Austin!
Love you all!
Sister Dougal

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