Monday, April 29, 2013

adios amigos

Dear friend and neighbor, Dave Williams, that I ran into leaving this morning for New Jersey!!

Carly Madsen... friend from first grade that going to my mission to wait for her visa

Favorite breakfast of oatmeal... YAY!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

la ultimo semana

Well needless to say I had yet another language mx up this week. We all have many but I seem to be the only one that has any to this degree of awkwardness.. We had been learning about the law of chastity and learning how to teach it to different people and situations one day and so in comes our "investigator" Juan Paul. He had been living with his senora and we were preparing him for his baptism in a month or so. Lets be honest.. the law of chastity isn't the most normal or casual of all lessons to teach and is usually followed by a few uncomfortable questions for the investigators and then the added bonus of usually answering a couple of their questions. So Juan Paul and my companion and me were just cruising through this lesson. We reach the point in the lesson when you need to invite the investigator to either live seperately from his senora or get married. They had a child together so naturally I wasn't going to invite them to split up so I turned to him and I said, " Juan Paul, will you marry me before your baptism?" Yes I just asked our investigator to marry me. The best part is the reactions from the investigators when they get this look on their face that is like, Did you really just ask me that? Thats when you know you've said something wrong.. But all ended well. He said that he and his senora would get married! Opps! Pray for me in the field that I don't ask anyone else to marry me.. Speaking of the field, I leave in three days! So that's pretty exciting! We had a 9 hour in-field orientation yesterday. Thats full time job hours! But they did a really good job at keeping us entertained! The main thing that I took from that is that a week from this sunday I will be introducing myself into my new ward a week from Sunday.. In spanish! How great is that? We originally had 21 people on our flight to New Jersey but there are so many people that aren't getting their visas that they are all getting reassigned and now im pretty sure I have counted around 30 people that are going to be on our flight! Ay caramba! This was an incredible week. How great is it to be a missionary? Seriously, I feel more and more lucky the more I am out here and cannot wait to jump off the plane into the field and get to work. The language is coming great other than occasionally I get a little over confident and create the most lovely of situations.. but still have learned more spanish here in the five and a half weeks that I have been here than I have all through school. They really know what they are doing here, plus we have awesome teachers! Sometimes they even let us go outside and "street contact." Sounds a bit more extravigent than it really is but we just walk around, two by two, and find other missionaries that have nothing to do (never happens) and teach them. When anyone ever asks what to teach, typical response is "depende, sigue el espiritu" If you didn't catch that is says "we aren't going to ever tell you what to teach because we like to sit back and watch you learn that you need to teach the people by the spirit and not by a lesson. Good luck!" It's true though. When you open your mouth with faith, the Lord will fill it! We all know I don't have a hard time talking to people, but learning to say what the spirit is whispering into your heart. That is like learning a whole new language! I hope all is well in the home front!
Hermana Schwendiman

Friday, April 19, 2013

La dia de prep

Hola hola!!
 We were walking back from the temple this morning and one of the Hermanas was talking about how tomorrow we will have been out one month exactly! One month.. thats a little loco! Sorry if my english starts to sounds like that of a four year old but my spanish has been taking over my brain! Its almost as if I have to flip a switch back to enlglish, or else I mix the two together and nothing makes sense! This week our teachers have been pressing us to talk only in spanish. So.. we took that challenge and some days were hard but Wednesday I had been keeping track of my words in english and by the time we got to our class at night I had only spoken 16 words in english. The first couple days were frustrating because I had the same thoughts and feelings and realized that I couldn't express what I was feeling or what I wanted.. by day three.. I started to think differently and we all started to get really creative on how to say what we need to. One thing that our teachers pointed out is that we really only know how to speak the words of the gospel.. unless we take a lot of time and look up all the words we want to say in the dictionary, resulting in the lack on conversations of many things to do with the world! I am pretty sure that I have mastered the game of charades by now! Oh and if you know me well enough, you know that I am an inventor of words! I generally just speak with such confidence that its one of those things where you won't question it because I sound so certain.. no way. I never know if they words im using are real. That has most definitely carried over into my spanish!! I have a new nickname, Schwendi-idioma. Idioma in Spanish is language. They have caught on to my tricks!! My confidence has carried over once again into my lesson with our investigator Joao. (Shwawl) We were teaching and we had committed him to baptism on the lesson before so this lesson he had a couple questions about somethings that his friend had told him about. From what I understood he was talking about actually being baptized, inviting friends, and a few things about singing and dancing and what was going to happen and so I started to answer him saying that he was able to invite whoever he wanted and the posibility of having a program after and that he shouldn't worry about anything because we were going to be there! Well.... one very important word that he mentioned quite a few times that I didn't know was desnudo. Desnudo translated means, nude or naked! A pretty vital word. So what I told him is that we will be singing hymns and that he can invite whoever he wanted and to not worry because we would be there! Basically implying that we WERE all going to be naked and that he would have to be naked to be baptized.. great hil! On a more positive note Elder Richard G. Scott came and spoke to us on tuesday! What a little miracle! If you don't know about the manner of Elder Scott, he teaches and speaks slowly and calmy. All of the missionaries in there were completely silent! The spirit was strong and his focus was on communication with our Father in Heaven. A few of the things he stressed was to be thankful when we don't get a response to our prayers. Beacuse He is showing that He trusts us enough to be able to make the right choice but that he will never let us make the wrong choice without a warning beforehand. Be grateful for the struggle. Your character will grow and your faith will grow. The greater the faith the stronger the character! And the one thing I took the most is that when we are in a challenging situation, to take a step back and look at the lesson that might need to be learned instead of complaining and being frustrated. Well the church is true, the book is blue. Onward and upward.
Hermana Schwendiman

Must be P-day... sending out my mail!
Sister Steel
Cool reflection pic
Elder Heaton's brother served in Sandy and we loved getting to know him!
Now I'm serving with the current Elder Heaton!
Our whole district on our door with Me, Throckmorton, Steel, and Anderson

Friday, April 12, 2013

Halfway done!

Halfway done! I don't know if I should be excited or sad because for one, I love it here! Oddly enough, I do! A rather big part of me really doesn't want to leave this lovely square block of home. Life here is super simple and everyone is happy. For those that aren't happy or are having a hard time, where better than a around a large group of book of mormon sharing, smilling, anxiously spreading their cheer? This is the hap-hap-hapiest group of kids I've ever been around. By kids I obviously mean Elders and Sisters. That would be the proper way to say that. We aren't supposed to use "you guys" "boys" "girls" or anything that doesn't resemble a family member. That one is a hard one for me, but its getting better! Same with putting my missionary tag on.. yesterday I accidentally went through almost the whole day without it, the first half of the day I didn't even realize that I wan't wearing it because of the curse of long hair. My hair always covers up my name tag but working on that as well. AND THE SHOWERS! There is a trick, once you turn on the shower you turn it to the normal temp. but it takes forever to warm up so you, instinctively turn it hotter to get warmer faster which makes no logical sense, then once its finally warm enough you can get it, but what the shower doesn't tell you is that in about five minutes its going to jump to the temp. that it's at and scald you. Happens every time! Those tricky showers...  Our little district is more like our little family. About ten hours in one classroom with the same ten people will either drive you all together or pull you apart. Luckily, in our case, we have all become very good friends, more like brothers and sisters. All of our Elders are great! They are all 18 and 19, so young! And many times they are very much 18 and 19.. for example this week we had a duo restling match in our classroom. Blood was drawn. It ended. But more often than not they will suprise the sisters by doing something so amaznig. Its just like having six more brothers. Our teachers are amazing as well. They couldn't be more different but it seems like someone learns best from a different teacher. Total we have had 15 teachers which is not normal.. We have two teachers. One was our investigator for the first week and a half and the other was sick and then went to Texas so we have had a grip of teachers which is entertaining because they all love to tell their mission stories and get to know is. We have had our regular teachers this week with a few add-ins but there is a huge difference with having a lesson schedule and a little direction. Our teachers have had a lot of patience with us but one problem with becoming so close is that there is a lot of fun and jokes to be had. So... Last night, to help, we got new seating assignments.. Elders, Sisters, Elders, Sisters, Elders. Yup. But a little word from our teacher is that the Hermanas are doing really great.. They did it so we can help them. It just sounds like regular boys and girls to me! Ooo quick story real  quick, I'm sure this won't be the first language "mess up" that Ive had and definitely not the last but we had been teaching our "investigator," Mario, and at the end of the lesson he was getting ready to go to work and as we were walking out the door I meant to say, "great! have fun at work!" and I ended up saying," Great, forget work!" The look on his face was probably the best part. More of a look like, did she really just tell me to forget about work? but better than last week when I told our "investigator" that we physically lifted up our family and friends to come on a mission instead of leaving our family and friends to come on a mission. Sometimes I just don't think before I speak.. can't wait until I actually do this on the field.. my poor companion is going to get a load of wrong words. Live and learn right? I know theres so much that has happened but the moment I take a break and sit down to type, my brain does too! This week we had a little miracle happen between two elders that I would tell you more about but it's not my story to tell and there are very few of us that know about it but there was no explanation to what happened.. Other than the work of Gods hands in our lives. It just goes to show that He does need us out here and there is a work to be done. We all all so bless for being here and learning every day the consequences of being obedient!

Oh PS.. those pictures are an Alta group picture, what happens when you leave Hermana Steel and I alone with a camera with a timer on it. And me sending 10 notes/letters last sunday! Yippee!  (oops... she forgot to attach the pictures to her email... maybe next week:)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Well hello hello!

First of all, I had the most delicious green smoothie for breakfast this morning, easily made my day. You find out very quickly all of the little things you are grateful for, like green smoothies! Unfortunately I went to go pick up my package five minutes too late so I had to wait till the next afternoon to go get it, but no need to fear, we got two new girls in our room and one of them is diabetic so we have a mini fridge in our room and I just popped it in there and it froze as hard as a rock over night. I don't know if it was the fact here that the food here tastes like rubber, but that was muy delicioso! Oh speaking of food, the little dork room that I eat all of my glueten free food out of, is just a little room in the corner of the cafeteria and then everyone in our district eats together! Yay for bonding time. The Elders in our district are all just out of high school. I think one of them went to any college but they are... well they are boys. Elder Collins, Herbert, Clement, Gawrych, Wood, and Woods. And yes, Elder Wood and Elder Woods are companions! We have a very unique district... Every single person couldn't be more opposite than the next but we all get along really well!! The other two girls in our district are Hermana Steel and Hermana Anderson. Hermana Anderson lived in Australia and has been to New Zealand.. You can imagine the conversations we have about that! Those girls are in our room as well. The first week it was just us two and then we got two english speakers add in. They leave next week for Ireland/Scottland and then we imagine we get another more spacious week and then another round of chicas. Our room is rather crowded now but its nice to have a couple more girls in there. They are the sweetest. My companera Hermana Throckmorton is an angel. We were all talking about how lucky we were that the girls in our district get along really well, and watching how other districts don't, makes us a little bit nervous that our next companion isn't going to be as awesome! I do feel like I got really lucky with her. We could not be more opposite in every way but the fact that we are both missionaries but it works! So Easter was plain, it's a beautiful day but the day itself seemed just like another day in the MTC. We had Bishop Cause speak to us. Nobody will admit it, but we were all a little bummed that it wan't a general authority. Rumors are dangerous here. But then at the fireside that night Sister Sheri Dew came and spoke and it was incredible!! She is an amazing speaker and has a very strong testimony. Let me think of what else... We have started to get up a little bit before six every morning.. Going two days strong now! And amazingly.. the first day was partially my idea. They have something a little extra special for the Sisters here, They have a little fitness class every morning at six and so we've started to go to it. That was Thursday and we did yoga and today we got up at six again because we wanted to hit an early temple session so that we can have more time on our P-day to do... well.. to just do things. Write letters and do laundry oh and we get to go to the gym! Its a weird feeling living in this one block radius.. I feel like I have lived her my whole life and that anything that happened before was just a movie I had seen. Oh Mom, you asked about our teacher.. Teachers is more like it.. We were supposed to have two teachers, morning and afternoon, but they both have been gone a lot... weddings, funerals, sickness.. and our afternoon teacher was our investigator for the first week and a half, so we have had a grand total of twelve different teachers. They all just rotate through! I can't believe Gavin is going to Mexico! He is going to be an awesome missionary. If he has any questions about the MTC tell him to email me or better yet send me a letter! I'll fill him in on all of the tricks of this trade, like swiping your card backwards and upwards.. opens the door every time! If not you just look like a noobie trying to open the doors. Oh yes, we all have cards like the FBI that let us in the every building. A lot of people even have the belt clip that connects the card and extracts so they look like Paul Blart when they use it! Im excited for this weekend. We only have one more three hour block of class for the whole weekend because of conference! Its going to be a great weekend!
Okay mom, the only thing I want on that list is the natural glow lotion.. but I do need a couple other things like my grey knit beanie.. if you can find it! I miss it.. and the little things here, seem small but mean so much! Also I have about a million blackheads.. I don't know what to do.. any pore strips  you could get or suggestions? I have a bunch of really cute things that I will probably never wear..  and a couple I don't really like. So I'll try and send that today. Plus my ecco's I'm going to send them back and if there is any way to get them a 1/2 size bigger or maybe a full size.. that would be great. If not.. I'll deal with them but they are too tight for comfort. And I pair of shoes that are so cute but don't match anything. But my favorite pair is my black ballet flats! The most comfortable ever, whoever that girls was, she was right! Okay times up! Talk to you later!

At the temple with Sis. Steel, Anderson, Throckmorton

In class...
Me and Sister Throckmorton... love her!