You know it's bad when your mission president emails everyone and says that we should be tracting from 8-1, and then studying from 1-4 or however long your studies usually take. Saying that August in Louisiana is hot and humid is a huge understatement! I still love it though and I've just accepted that my makeup will inevitably melt and my hair will undoubtedly curl! :)
With the schedule thing, we actually still follow a normal schedule because we have a car, so we don't have to worry about getting heat stroke on bikes. On a normal day, we wake up at 6:30, work out in our apartment until 7 (it's way too hot even that early to run outside... maybe in January), then get ready for the day/eat breakfast until 8 (my favorite things for breakfast are either grits or a fruit smoothie), then personal study for an hour, companionship study for an hour, an hour of 12 week (the missionary training program), then a half hour of language study. Sometimes those four things blend into each other a little bit, but basically we just study for about 3-4 hours every morning. Then we usually just straighten things up around the apartment a little bit, and then we leave. On a typical day, we'll pick one or two areas to focus on (we need to conserve miles because we only get a certain amount every month). We have a plan of people to visit, and we go visit them. A lot of times they're not there, so we usually have back up plans too. When those fall through, we go contacting. Sisters don't typically tract here, so we go to parks or just walk around neighborhoods and talk to people. That's pretty much how the rest of the day goes until we come home around 9/9:30, after which we plan, get ready for bed, and sleep! Sometimes we have set appointments so we work around those, but yeah that's basically it.
We get fed a lot, and I mean A LOT here. In Hispanic culture they won't let you leave without giving you something. There have been days where everyone wants to feed us, and they usually give us food to take to the elders too (the elders have a smaller area than us and don't see as many of the people) so when they're not looking, we put food from our plates into the bowls for the elders. :) The good thing is, it's usually super healthy and fresh food, and it's all super delicious! My favorite is tamales! Everyone makes them a little bit different and I love trying them at different people's houses. So far, Guatemalan tamales are my favorite.
One thing that is my favorite though is the primary! The kids are so sweet, and so far they're the only ones that really remember my name!! There is nothing better than running into one of the kids in our ward and having them just light up and run up to me screaming, "Sister Sorensen!!!!" and giving me a big hug. That's enough to turn any day around, no matter how many people don't follow through on commitments. I got to do music time for primary on Sunday and it was so fun! I love the kids so much and also I love music so it's just perfect for me!
Alrighty I think that's all this week. The work keeps going forward slowly but surely. This week, try to say hi to more people or at least smile at more people. Especially all of you youth going back to school! Being a missionary has made me realize how much a smile or a "hey how are y'all doing" can make my day! It doesn't matter if you know them or not, just smile and honestly ask how they're doing. Everyone likes to be acknowledged and noticed. Try every day to just be a little kinder and a little more aware of the needs of people around you, it really will make a difference. That's a promise! :)
I love you all so much! Have a great first week back at school!