Monday, July 27, 2015

First Week in the Field!

Have you ever had one of those dreams where everyone around you is speaking gibberish. Haha, that's my life. 

I left the MTC under the impression that I would understand a good portion of what people would say. I could pretty much understand everything, even devotionals where native speakers were talking. However, it's SO much different here. First of all, people don't only talk about the gospel. Guess what vocab I know? Yup, gospel vocab. So I hear a lot of words that I have never heard before. Even during lessons if people start talking on a tangent at all I get soo lost. 

But it is so good. My companion is AMAZING. Funny story:

When we were at the offices, President showed us pictures of the trainers, one of them being Hermana Wong. He told me that she knew 3 languages and was very intelligent. He showed me the other trainers too, but she was the only one I remembered and I kind of knew she would be my trainer. 

So normally we would stay the night at the President's house and then go to the huge transfer meeting the next day, but for logistic reasons that didn't work out so we just had a small transfer meeting on Monday. I got my companion, and I had thought that one of the languages she spoke was English... but NO. I was talking to her in English and she was just looking back at me like I was crazy. So I started using my broken Spanish.

Well, come Wednesday morning we were doing language study and I had been reading the Book of Mormon out loud and Hermana Wong was correcting my pronounciation. After 45 or so minutes I wanted to turn the tables. There's a rule that those who don't know English need to study it while their companion studies Spanish. So I told her in my broken Spanish that she should study English. At this point she started laughing so hard and in PERFECT English said "I can't do it any more!" Apparently she went to school in CA. It's a bit discouraging when your companion is fluent in 4 languages (Spanish, Enlgish, French, and Italian) and you can't even speak 2. But she is super humble. I was SOOO shocked though. We still try to speak a lot of Spanish because I really need to learn, but it's nice to be able to talk to someone if I really need to. She kept up the joke for a whole day and a half though! She said it was pretty tough. 

We have a lot of fun together! She keeps the work fun and is a rockstar missionary who really connects with the people. I'm so blessed to have her. Since there are so few Sisters and so many came in all at once, she has only been here 3 months and is already training for her second time. Yeah, she's awesome.

The miracles here are crazy! We have been GUIDED to where we need to go. My favorite was on SaturdayOn Saturday we really REALLY wanted to find this one woman who had been a Golden investigator but was lost when missionaries were transfered. The only problem was that we didn't have an address or a phone number. Hermana Wong remembered what part of town she lived in, and so we decided to walk over there. We then prayed to know where to go. We both felt that we should go to this one house. There was a group of people outside and we asked them if they new this woman. They said there were two people with the same name, one in one direction, and one in the other direction, though they didn't know exactly which house. We felt prompted to go down one street... but when we were over there we were sorta just lingering not sure if we should start knocking door or what, when we turn around and Hermana Wong gets so excited because there was a woman walking towards us and IT WAS HER. There are like a million people here. I have now doubt that God lead us to her. We showed her the restoration video and seriously, she is just golden. I'm so excited to finish teaching her. 

This Church is true. Heavenly Father helps us every day and makes MIRACLES happen. He wouldn't do that if we weren't doing His work. He is also just so mindful of us. Every time we are thirsty, He sends us a member or even just a random person to offer us something to drink. And I can't always understand very much but sometimes I get super strong impressions to say something and somehow I am able to say what they need even though I'm not even sure what they are talking about. It's an amazing blessing. 

I love this gospel. I love Mexico City. I stand out a lot here. It can be a good thing though because people want to talk to us since I'm white (: But the people here are so humble and so prepared to hear this message. This area wasn't left with a ton of progressing investigators, so we are working really hard to find people and we can feel the Lord leading us to the people that we need to talk to. 

Being a missionary is great. On Saturday we had our training to work in the temple! We get to work there for 18 days!!! I can't wait. President told us that He felt that that was the reason that many of us sisters were called to this mission: to be a guide for this open house. I'm so excited!

I love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Aubriana Wolferts

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Last P-Day Here...

Well, a week from now I will be in the Mission. I'm so excited! I have LOVED the CCM. Some people told me it would be like a prison, but I have been so happy here. An amazing district, amazing teachers, opportunities to feel the Spirit 24/7, what more could I want? Also it's quite strange to think that I´ve been out here for more than a month. That isn´t thattt long, but it means I've only got 17 left. I feel like it's going too fast already.

I've learned a lot of things from being here:

1. The Church is true. There is no way I could feel this great ALL THE TIME while being away from my family without the Spirit. And what does the Spirit do? It testified of TRUTH. Entonces, this gospel is true.
2. Mexican food is strange. And their pastries aren't very sweet. And their candy is sometimes very... not good. They like spicy, really salty and just a touch of fruity flavor in their candy. And the mix us nauseating. And papaya... don´t even get me started. People told me you have to try it many times to like it, so I tried it every day for 2 or 3 weeks. I had it again this morning. Still nasty.
3. Make friends with the workers! We have an advantage since we are serving in Mexico City so everyone LOVES us. Every Monday we do a service activity (which is great because people constantly serve us here, it helps us get over our guilty conscience) and this last week our friend Esteban took us to the kitchen and had us make Texas sheet cake. And then later that night he gave us pieces of the cake we made. Apparently they were just trying out the recipe, so essentially we made a cake for ourselves... for our service activity.
4. The gift of tongues is real. But like most spiritual things, it's not super obvious. Occasionally, there are lessons where I just feel like words come to my mind that I've hardly studied or like I am able to say things better than I should be able to, but many times the gift of tongues is much less obvious. But it is still there. I've learned Spanish faster than should be possible. 
5. Skirts are AWESOME. I hate wearing jeans for service and things. 
6. Serve your companion and serve your district. These people help SO much with the transition. I couldn't do it without them. 

It is so strange to be leaving so soon. There is a tradition here where they show a slideshow of the districts who are leaving each week. We took our pictures for the slide show yesterday ):

I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting finally! It was on the 4th article of faith, which was great because one of the missionary lessons is essentially the 4th article of faith, so it was easy for me to talk about. During sacrament meeting we give talks in Spanish and the Branch presidency (who are all from Mexico and speak Spanish as their native language) give talks in English. So the whole thing is just people feeling uncomfortable because they aren't speaking in their native language, and yet the spirit is so strong. However, some funny things happen when people don't speak their native tongue. A couple weeks ago one of our friends in another district gave a talk on caridad (charity) but accidentally said castidad (chasity) at one point. And this last Sunday, the speaker from the branch presidency was talking to us and said that this year and a half or 24 years that we serve... and all the guys were like 24 YEARS?? And he realized what he had said and laughed and said "you Elders didn´t realize what you were getting into, did you?!" It was super funny (:

Basically, I love being a missionary. One thing I've really learned this week is FAITH. I am someone who tends to be very self reliant and it has been an adjustment for me to be willing to completely rely on the Lord. The CCM President gave a talk this past week about having complete faith. He told a story of when his wife fell and was in so much pain she thought she may have broken some bones. They couldn't take her to the hospital, so they gave her a priesthood blessing. He then had to go to work and she stayed at home with their 12 year old son. At this point I was on the edge of my chair thinking "how could you just go to work? How could you have faith that Heavenly Father would take care of that?!" But guess what, she was fine. She was healed. The Priesthood is real. But like Ether said, we don't receive a witness until after the trial of our faith (Ether 12:6). Things don't always work out exactly how we want them too, but if it's the Lord's will, He can do anything. So don't forget to have faith.

I love you all (: Have a great week!


Hermana Aubriana Wolferts

p.s. I cried when I saw you with Hermana Garner´s mom. I´m so happy you met!

My mom and Hermana Garner's mom, Leslie.
Our CCM district and some of our teachers.

 The Hermanas with Hermana Vergara our teacher.
My companion, Sister Jones and I with Hermana Vergara.

Another teacher from the CCM.

Me with my companion, Sister Jones at the CCM.


Our district with another district in our zone. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 4: 4th of July Festivities!

This week was great, as always.

This place is amazing. The spirit is so strong. 

So a few things that happened this week:

1. The hermanas in my district sang in devotional! It was fun and went well! I definitely get nervous singing in front of people, even though anyone who knows me knows that I sing constantly. But I'm trying to branch out and be confident. The hymns are cool in Spanish because some of them have totally different meanings. We sang "Lead kindly light" and the words to the Spanish version are definitely not a direct translation, but the meaning is just as special. 

2. It was 4th of July! I haven't really struggled with homesickness, and I wasn't super homesick on Saturday, but it was a little hard to imagine everyone at the parade and firework show. I LOVE the 4th of July. We sang the patriotic songs in the hymnbook that day (: It was strange because we NEVER sing in English. Solo español. Siempre. We even prayed in English, but we didn't like that. Learning a language is fun! But it's interesting because sometimes words come out in the wrong language. Like we will be in a lesson and I'll be talking and talking in Spanish and then I will accidentally say a word in English and my comp will laugh at me. It happens the other way too. We will be speaking English and then just start going in Spanish. Our minds are so jumbled. Anyway, one super cool thing about Saturday was that some American missionary put a small American flag in a cup and set it up top the juice dispenser in the cafeteria. It was a little goofy, at first, but we started singing the Star Spangled Banner and pretty soon all the American missionaries were singing along with their hands over their heart. It was really moving. I love my country. We are SO blessed; I really had no idea. Even the Native missionaries were so supportive and wished us a Happy 4th of July. Our teacher gave us treats... basically it was the best day ever.

3. We moved classrooms. This shouldn't be that big of a deal, but we spend so much time in there we were pretty attached.

4. Casey Lucas left the CCM! I am so excited for her. The CCM is wonderful, but it would be hard to be here because it's fake. It will be so wonderful to teach real people. But that's also terrifying.

5. Okay, we do have some real people here. Some volunteers come to be taught. Since they are not our teachers, they don't take it easy on us. They speak FAST, no mercy. But it really is amazing how much we can understand. It's difficult because I can understand most everything, but I can only speak so much. 

6. We have  A LOT of opportunities to teach. Like 4 a day. Sometimes more. It's intense. Mostly because we teach during our study time now so we have no time to write lessons. 

7. My favorite thing to do here is play volleyball. I play everyday! So just a little bit about what my day looks like (and every day is pretty much exactly the same except Sunday and p-day)  : We get up at like 6:20 or so and get ready and leave for class around 6:50. Then we have personal study for half and hour and go to breakfast. After breakfast we have personal study for another hour (I know it sounds long, but I swear it flies by). After that we have class for or teaching for 3 hours. Then we have lunch and after lunch we have gym time for an hour, during which we play sand volleyball! So fun. And then after that we have half an hour to get re-ready then we go to class for 3 or so more hours (or teach) and then we have dinner. After dinner we have TALL, which is language study on the computer. And then we have language study in the classroom until 9 PM. At this point we are pretty studied out usually, so our favorite thing to do is practice talking to each other using the things we learned that day. Sometimes we even try to tell funny stories in Spanish. It's really good for practicing speaking in the past tense. But really the schedule is not bad. The days felt long at first but they have so much fun stuff too! And on p-day you just get to do whatever you want! P-days include a lot of volleyball as well (: 

I love you all! One cool thing that I really embraced this week is that we have a huge responsibility to accept the atonement and seek answers. Heavenly Father has given us agency. At times I feel like I am just waiting for Him to show himself to me. But that's not how it works. The witness never comes until AFTER the trial of our faith. We need to go to HIM. As I have prayed to feel the Spirit and to see Him working in my life, it has slowly but surely come. So don't forget to talk to Him every morning and night and as many times as you can and ask Him for a witness. And pray with real intent, meaning that you are willing to act upon the answers that He gives with full faith. 

Love you,

Hermana Aubriana Wolferts