Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Week 1

Hola mis amigos y familia!!!!

Ok there is so much to say, I will try to get it out as quick as I can. So much is happening and going on constantly, there is barely time to think for myself. Which I guess helps with missing everyone!!! It is 100% true that the days feel like weeks and the week feels like a day. I was walking around today, seeing the new missionaries with the 'dork dots' and I already feel so much more mature than them hahaha it's crazy the difference that one week can make!! So:

Dad and Ruth dropped me off. I was ok up to that point, but then I realized I wasn't going to see them for a veryyyyy longgggg time and that was when the FEAR STRUCK!!! I couldn't really breathe and then the tears started to appear. There was some polynesian guy getting out of his car at the same time, and he had like a million people to hug and say goodbye too, I was glad I just had Ruth and Dad. Right when I was getting out of the car, Ryan Hansen walks up!! In my moment of teary weakness, but then it was time to move on. The whole rest of the day was a rush, I was late as usual and was trying to catch up with everyone else! But I made it eventually!! We had a whole orientation and everything, and people stood up from the different places they were from. I am the only one from the East/Northeast, so represent!!! LOTSSSS from Utah, no surprise there! I'm in a trio, with Hermana M and Hermana P. M is from Oregon and P is from Virginia. They have very opposite personalities. They kind of remind me of mom and dad hahaha Hermana P is from a military family, she very much likes to be on time and have a plan vs Hermana M is much more laid back and takes lotsssss of timeeee doing things, we are often waiting for her. So they are like a more extreme version of mom and dad with time, and I'm the mediator!! I am basically always looking for the things to remind me of family!

There are 2 other Hermanas in my district, R and F, they are both from UT. Since our district is only girls, I was assigned as Sister Training Leader, which is basically a District Leader for girls. MORE RESPONSIBILIDAD!!!! I was feeling decently overwhelmed before they asked me to take on that responsibility, and then that almost put me over the edge. BUT I just needed to adjust to everything, the routine of meals, gym, class, studying and all those good things. I feel much better now, not nearly as overwhelmed! On Sunday, when everyone else got to study language and stuff, I was basically in meetings all day with the branch presidency and other training meetings. I was like this must be like what dad felt like on Sunday! El mismo!

In the same apartment that our classroom is in, there is another district of boys in our zone. There's 8? of them I think, and they are a VERY beginner class. They are still learning Me llamo es. There are 2 elders in that district also going to Xalapa, so that's exciting also! Hna P is also headed for Xalapa Apparently, I found this out my 4th day here, I am in the intermediate class. Everyone else knew except for me, I just thought that all the classes were as fast pace as this one. NOPE. So everything is in spanish ALL THE TIME, it's part of the whole Speak Your Language program. So todo es en espanol. I'm picking up on stuff again, the hardest part is definitely all the new church vocab and the TENSES. They are as hard for me now as they were junior year of high school. We probably sound like idiots all the time, but it's expected!

Our investigator that we are teaching is Sylvio. Our first lesson was SO ROUGH. We had tried to make a specific plan, and stick to it, but that didn't leave much room for feeling the spirit or for tangents in areas that Sylvio needed our attention. Needless to say, we were very disgouraged after our first lesson. Since then though, we have gotten MUCH better!!! We make a 'plan', meaning we have some ideas that the lesson can go in the direction of, but we leave plenty of room for discussion and feeling the spirit also. The spirit is SO necessary in these lessons, absolutely critical. The difference it can make is HUGE, like I can't even describe it, especially with the language barrier. We invited him to get baptized yesterday, and he accepted!! We were all so excited! I kind of help my breath for a little bit, being in shock that Hna P had just invited him to do that, but it happened and he said yes! Another thing about Sylvio, we were expecting this little old Mexican Man as our investigator, but we knock on the door for the first lesson and there is this young, college age, handsome young man. That threw us off a little bit, but we are over that shock now and he is simply Sylvio. Also, another thing, spanish is totally messing with my spelling, I know nOTHING anymore. I don;t even want to think about what I am going to be like in 18 months!

We have learned so much since we have been here, lots of grammar. We learned how to pray, testify, poder + infinitive, deber + infinitive. Basically all of the confusing stuff. But we will manage!

Some funny things - one teacher thought my name was Westerberger. WRONG
Trying to learn about leadership, I accidentaly read Luke 23:32 instead of 22:32, look it up. 

(editor note: Luke 23:32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.  Luke 22:32  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.) 

We heard the boys district talking, one comp to another - "I'm senior companion, this is how it goes. I plan the lesson, you talk the whole time" hahahaha we were dying at that. They struggle a lot with the language.

Since we (my district) are with each other all the time, we need to be VERY comfortable. Unfortunately, some people are too comfortable I think hahaha which translates into girls burping and farting like never before. It's awful, but I guess these girls gotta do what they gotta do!

Sunday was by far the best day of the week. I decided to join choir, we are singing great songs, and I love singing, I may not be good, but I try!! The spirit was so amazing, once again INDESCRIBABLE. The MTC is no place like any other. There is a special feeling here. We need to prepare talks every sunday in spanish, and they call on you randomly to speak. Luckily, it wasn't me this week but I will be sitting next week like I am about to go to the chopping block. Everyone averts their eyes when the branch president stands up to pick who will speak.The devotional on Sunday nights, we get bused up to the main campus, the majority of Spanish speakers are in Wyview and we have class in Raintree apartments. I've seen 2 people from my freshman ward, Elder Eppley and Hermana Jackson, and I have also seen Elder Finnerty! I love seeing people that I know, it makes me feel that much closer to home!

EXCITING NEWS!!! I get to travel to Las Vegas tomorrow to get my VISA!!!!!! I won't be waiting around like other poor missionaries who don’t get to leave for months!! I am so excited!! It makes me feel like things are all moving so extremely fast still.

I love the MTC, it is truly amazing. Thank you everyone for all your letters, especially momma and dad for cinnamon rolls and the camera! I got them all! I'm sorry this is so rushed and very all over the place, but that's kinda how things are here in the MTC! Missionary work is truly inspired and there is no way I could do this by myself

Les amo mucho, and I miss you all so much! I keep you in my prayers!

-Hermana Westergard

PS: my address was wrong in the email they sent me. My address is actually 818, not 834

editors note:  Eliza's address is

Hermans Eliza Westergard
Mar 03 MEX-SLP
2023 N 900E Unit 818
Provo UT 84602

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