The subject is what I automatically say to people I meet. It's like being at BYU and I would just be like "Lindsey, Colorado, Piano Performance" :)
ANYWAYS. I don't even know where to begin!! This is only my first week but I feel like I've been here for a year!! I'll try to answer as many questions as I can and tell you all everything I can remember from this crazy amazing week!
1. La comida: SO. GOOD. I can never eat at a Mexican restaurant in the States ever again because the authentic food here is incredible. We have beans and rice every day, but then we have everything from carnitas (pork) to pollo (chicken), burritos, tacos, lots of fruit (yes mother I'm eating lots of fruit and vegetables), ice cream (way better than American ice cream), and lots of other things that we don't exactly know what they are but they're super good!! So yeah, we're being fed well and we're happy and healthy!
5. I guess that brings me to... Español!! First, let me tell you, the Gift of Tongues is real. I know that that's the cliché missionary thing to say, but holy smokes it's real. To me, having the gift of tongues means that I have an increased ability to understand what people are saying, to remember the things I'm learning, to have a clear mind when I'm studying, and that when I need the language the most, as long as I've put in the work, the words come, and the Español flows like I never knew it could! So some of you have asked how immersed I am in it, and let me answer it this way: I can count on one hand the number of times someone (besides my district on occasion) speaks English to me. All of the teachers, cooks, and general workers here at the CCM are Latino, so yeah, no inglés. It's amazing how much we can understand everyone though!! If I could speak as much as I can understand, I would be in great shape. In terms of speaking, I think I'm doing pretty well!! On Friday we taught our first full lesson in Spanish with an investigator, and on Monday I taught a full lesson with our investigator (Carlos) without any notes! I just went off what I know, las escrituras (the scriptures), and the Holy Ghost. When I'm practicing Español with mi compañera, my Spanish is super broken and I have to think a lot about what I'm saying. When I'm teaching Carlos, somehow everything in my head clears up, and I can speak without many pauses and I'm really starting to feel like I can accurately communicate what I'm feeling. During the first couple lessons, I understood everything he was saying, and I could think of so many good answers in English, but I just did not have the words in Spanish. But now, I feel like even though I have miles to go, I don't feel as hindered by the language anymore, and I can honestly feel the Spirit as powerfully when I speak Spanish as when I speak English, because the words aren't just sounds I've memorized now, but they mean something to me, and to my investigator. Speaking of my investigator, WE LOVE CARLOS!!! Oh my goodness. He is just so ready for the Gospel and he LOVES the scriptures and always follows up on his reading assignments. He committed to be baptized on Monday!!!! We literally could not stop smiling after that!!!! We still have a lot to teach him, but it just felt so great to see him be so happy with his decision!! AHHH I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!
I miss you all a ton!! Thank you thank you thank you for all the love and support and prayers, I can definitely feel it!! Go out and serve someone this week, or better yet, share this Gospel! It's such a wonderful blessing and we have the opportunity to share it with everyone around us!! I love you all so much!! Talk to you next week!!