Cause lets get real, we aren't doing missionary work, we just drive all day. HAHA.
This week (year) started off with a bang! My comp almost burned down our apartment twice and we've had some AWESOME lessons this week. I think the thing I'll end up missing the most from my mission is teaching the gospel so frequently. I love it. It pushes me to study more effectively and pray more fervently. PS this is my attempt to write a shorter weekly update cause ain't nobody got time to read the ones I've been writing. Let's be honest I don't even have time to write them. Okay so here goes:
Monday we had a zone activity and I got to cook so I was automatically happy, we had lesson with Eduardo and did a look-up for a YSA who just moved in. She couldn't come to the door cause she was with her 9-week old baby. Totes awk. Like, I hope she's not YSA. Cug.
Tuesday my companion was finally able to call her family since she didn't get to on Christmas! She was in heaven speaking her language and whatnot. I decided while she was taking it would be a good time to get our headlights fixed on our car. 5 hours later... we missed most of District Meeting and then exchanged with the STLs. I really like our Sister Training Leaders and so it was a good time.
Wednesday we exchanged back at 2 and went straight to a zone flash mob on the subway. We sang a song and then I started talking to a really sweet lady. The train stopped and I saw a man get off with a black hat and suit. Our district leader obviously. So I said goodbye and jumped off the train, grabbing Sister Larsen's arm so she didn't get left. The doors closed and all I see is Sister Batsuuri's shocked face barely peeking through the window cause she's so short, banging on the door and screaming. All the other missionaries were still on the train so I pointed to them and she looked and stopped screaming. I'm probably the worst trainer in this whole world for accidentally leaving her, but as soon as the train shot away Sister Larsen and I were rolling with laughter for probably 15 minutes. My comp's face was the most priceless thing of my life. Sticks how everybody wears all black everything here so you can easily mistake a common business man for your District Leader eh.
On Wednesday night I couldn't sleep but the moon was shining outside my window really brightly. I stared at it for a while since it's the closest to nature I can get. "I guess I'm not that far from Elder Hartley if we are both under the same moon!" I thought about the time difference for a while and realized that it was high noon and summertime in Australia. I guess we really are THAT far away from each other. Haha. I never thought I would be happy waking up to sirens instead of roosters but sharing this gospel is really exciting and I love waking up each day because you never know what's gonna happen!
On Thursday we baptized 57 people into the YSA. Okay probably not but we weekly planned and did some finding as a district. Friday we taught one of our investigators twice! Haha the first time we answered all his questions and never got to the lesson, so we agreed to meet a few hours later since we both had stuff to do. He's a really cool but honestly the most frustrating person to teach. He wants explanations for everything and struggles with faith. I know he'll get baptized eventually. He is reading the Book of Mormon so that should help things out a bit haha. Saturday was the usual service with Crazy Dave and we taught a bunch of lessons and had some super awkward lookups..my personal favorite. Seriously. We would be fine if people would just tell us they don't want to meet with us, but they have to go and make up all this stuff to get around meeting with us. Hysterical.
Sunday we had an awesome branch council and I had to play for sacrament meeting again. It's so hard cause I want to sit with the investigators and make them feel welcome but somebody has to play. I'm sure it's all good in the end. We taught gospel principals and had an awesome lesson! We had 5 investigators at church again, we have for the last month or so and its been great! We had lunch with the STLs and did our studies since we didn't get to them in the morning. I am learning Spanish while my comp learns English. My favorite term so far: "lay patía el clutchè" probably didn't even get close to spelling that right, but it means that you put the clutch in but the tranny is still spinning...(eng. "your clutch is spinning) basically it means you're crazy.
I had a dawning about real beauty this week. I was laughing at the thought of my pre-mission self, so worried and caught up about my fitness abilities, hair, make-up, and wardrobe. I realized that I have never felt more beautiful in my life as I do now. I spend less than 10 minutes on my hair and makeup most days, and I don't think I've worn an outfit that has actually matched for 2 transfers because all I care about is not freezing to death. I also realized how happy I am that I don't care about those things so much now as I did then. It seemed that I was always trying to buy something new, spend more time at the gym, or take longer to do my makeup, but those things simply made me more unhappy with how I looked. My confidence level has also risen and I no longer compare myself to others or try to put them down for how they look. Seeing people as children of God and recognizing their true potential has helped me to see myself for who I really am. The only way to find ourselves it to lose our lives in the service of others.
Going along with that I have been thinking a lot about individuality. Isn't it funny how we try so hard to be unique by COPYING styles or celebrities in order to be a certain person? God's love for us doesn't change based on anything external about us. Or internal for that matter. Low self-esteem often comes to us when, in a struggle for identity, we try to be someone we aren't. We can't forget that our identity is that we are children of God. Whenever we try to become something we aren't, through sin and disobedience, we are going against our true identity, and automatically lose self-esteem. On the other hand, when we obey our Father and act in our true nature, as His children, the result is greater self-esteem and enhanced individuality.
Well that was a sad attempt at a shorter letter, better luck next week!
I am so grateful to be here...it is such a blessing, as is this gospel.
All my love!
PS I hate how everyone talks about the new year like it's gonna make them a new person. The only thing that'll do that for ya is the atonement Jack.
1. Steve and Terry came and took us to lunch last Monday! Such a treat to see them(:
2. With Sister Larsen after ditching my comp on the tube. Hysterical. You're probably wondering why my skin looks so incredible. My comp made me do this weird Asian mask thing...straight slayed me for like half an hour and got in my eyes. Works wonders though!
3. Illustration from the above-mentioned outfit scenario. I can't match to save my life.
4. This just makes me laugh cause crazy Dave always gets the most awkward photos. I look like I'm dying but actually I was really happy about being in -97 degree weather picking up other people's trash.