Sister Training Leaders?!?!

Hello eveyone!

I hope you´re all doing great! This week has flown by so quickly. Next week is our one month anniversay, how crazy is that?
We are now officially sólo español…sort of. We´re supposed to only speak Spanish in class, but boy is it hard! We actually had to come up with a punishment for people who accidentally speak English, so that makes it pretty exciting. Hermana Jensen had to stack up all the desks yesterday because she said ‘stop’.
Funny story! One of the Elders in my district didn´t get his wisdom teeth taken out before coming to his mission, and they´ve been giving him some problems since he arrived. So, yesterday, he went out to the dentists office to get it taken care of. He was pret pumped about the fact that the operation only cost about $50, and he was going off about how over priced American doctors were because they were forced to go through so much schooling. Anyway, the operartion was only supposed to be 2 hours long, and it was in the morning. He and his companion leave at about 10 in the morning and arrive at about 6 at night. So how did the procedure go? NIGHTMARISHLY. They only ever numbed Elder Olsen’s mouth, and then the lady dentist takes some sort of chisel and is just hacking at his tooth for two hours. She gets one of the out, but then she accidentally breaks the other one in half, leaving the roots in it. She has no idea what to do, so she tells them they need another doctor, FAST. They are taken to the other side of the city to see another doctor, but they don’t even start the operation for aobut 15 minutes. Instead they hook him up to an IV and wait because he lost so much blood while he was waiting. Anyway, the point of the story is, be grateful that we have super expensive docters here who had to go through 15 years of training, because it saves you a LOT of pain! Also don´t get your wisdom teeth taken out in Mexico.
So one of my teachers, Hermano Santiago, is applying to BYU Idaho right now, but before he can apply he has to take the TOEFL English test. He´s been super nervous about, but we know he´s going to do great. Anyway, earlier this week, he asked me to help him practice for his English test! Apparently one of the Elders determined that I was the smartest when it came to English. It´s kind of funny that I´m teaching English to my Spanish teacher, but a really cool and unique opportunity.
Oh, and in case you couldn´t tell, I received a new calling this week! Hermana Jensen and I are the new Sister Training Leaders for our zone! We´re both so excited! President Suarez asked us to be the new leaders on Sunday, and we just haven´t stopped smiling since. I think we´ll be getting new hermanas next week, and I can´t wait to meet them.
The weather is totally throwing me off because it´s actually pretty cold, but the leaves are still green plus there are palm trees everywhere, so you don´t think it´s cold but it really is. Or at least it is in the morning, anyway. It´s basically like Utah weather.😅
Hermana Peterson arrived this week! She´s a friend from my home ward. Hermana Jensen and I were actually outside by the Thomas S. Monson buidling ´practicing´our Spanish, but really we were spying on the newbies as they got off the buses. It was so much fun! Later on I saw hermana Peterson walking to her casa and I ran out my building screaming her name and gave her a huge hug. It was pretty fun. And thank you, mom, for the cookies and candy! The Elders are especially grateful for the candy part.
We had our first meeting yesterday as Sister Training Leaders with the teachers and Zone Leaders. The meeting was entirely in Spanish, but we talked about every person in the zone individually and how they were doing with learning the language and how they were doing spiritually. It was a little confusing, andwe ended up having to leave early because we didn´t want to miss lunch, but it was a really cool experience to see how much our teachers care about us on an individual basis.
So here at the CCM, a lot of districts like to decorate their classroom doors with signs and stuff to make it look really cool. Since our door was blank, I asked Elder Armstrong if I could make something for it, and he said I could as long as it said ´El mejor distrito´(the best district), so I did! I drew everyone´s faces on it, including our teachers, and put it on the door, and soooooo many people have come in asking who did it and stuff. The Elders have all takne pictures and sometimes they just stop in front of the door to look at it. Hermano Santiago even made it his wallpaper on his iPad! I´m so happy I can share my talents with everyone like that.
On Sunday Hermana Jensen and I taught Relief Society. The lesson was on the Atonement, and it was such a huge success! Some of us definitely cried. I learned so much personally while preparing for and teaching the lesson. Because our Savior suffered for all of our sins, he knows exactly how to help us when we come unto Him. Hermana Jackson shared her favorite scripture, and it´s definitely one of my favorites now, too. It´s Romans 8:35-39, which says: 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?shall tribulationor distress, or persecutionor famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

 38 For am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present,nor things to come,

 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall beable to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Anyway, it´s been a wonderful week! I´m so gratfeul to be here on a mission, and I can´t wait to make it out ot the field! I love you all!
Hermana Ius

And the blessing continue!

¡Hola amigos y familia!

I can´t believe it´s already week three! The longer I´ve been here, the faster time seems to fly by. I hope everyone is doing just dandy.
So many things happen here at the CCM that I just can´t possibly fit all of it into one email. Seriously, we have 16 hour long days, everyday. And yet, I´m not sick of it all!
We went to the Mexico City Temple again today! It was a glorious experience. The temple is GIANT! We have to take escalators all the way to the top, but it´s so beautiful inside. I don´t know when we´ll be able to go again, but I´m so grateful for these few opportunities I´ve had!
Next week we´re going “solo español”, which means we´ll only be allowed to speak Spanish in class. It´s a little intimidating, but then I remember just how much I´ve learned since I´ve been here, and it makes me excited to try speaking only Spanish.
This week, Bonnie Oscarson, the Young Women General President, visited the CCM and gave a devotional! During dinner, I went up to her and got a hug. It was so cool! She´s seriously the nicest person ever, and I just loved the devotional she gave. One of the Elders from my district acutally got her autograph right afterwards and was totally fangirling about. One quote from her that I really liked was, “When we trust in the Lord´s plan, life will always work out.” It´s so true because Heavenly Father knows us better than we know ourselves, and he has so much in mind for us. He knows what our potential is and wants us to be happy.
This Sunday, Hermana Jensen and I are teaching Relief Society. We´re excited, buuuuuut we have no idea what we´re going to do! We have little to no time to really prepare a proper lesson, and our resources include 1. Preach My Gospel 2. The scriptures. 😅 Well, I guess that´s all we ever really need at the end of the day! We also have to prepare a talk everyweek for Sacrament, but the thing is, we don´t know if we´re actually going to be called on to speak until the meeting starts, and it´s entirely in Spanish. Last week I was called on to give the opening prayer, and I just about had a heartattack. Anyway, I don´t mind writing and giving a talk, it´s just a matter of finding the time to write and translate it.
So this week I drew two pictures of my teachers, Hermano Santiago and Hermano Tapia and gave them my drawings. They were so tickled pink by it! Hermano Santiago thought it was so cute and put his picture in his journal. 😂 Well, now the Elders in my district have discovered that I draw and some are requesting pictures now. I´m not sure I have the time, or desire, to draw them anything, but we´ll just have to wait and see. They saw the pictures I drew of my companion and our teachers, though, so it might be too late for me to get out of drawing them anything!
Okay so quick funny story that some Spanish speakers might giggle at. We were practicing in class how to invite an investigator to pray when they didn´t want to, and I was paired up with Elder Brower. He doesn´t no very much Spanish, and he´s kind of a goofy, loud person. Anyway, he gets to a point in his lesson where he asks for us to offer the prayer. Sticking true to my character, I reply, “Si, ¿usted offre la oración?” To which he points at me and loudly proclaims, “NO, yo offre ….WAIT!”. I just about died laughing! For those of you not fluent in Spanish, “yo” is the pronoun for “I” and “usted” is the formal pronoun for “you”. He became so confused after that incident that he wasn´t sure which pronoun to use, and it really threw him off. My laughing at him didn´t really help, either.
My scriptural thought this week is Jacob chapter 5. I read this scripture the other day and I´ve had in my mind ever since. It´s the parable of the master of the vineyard. It kept reminding me aobut how much Heavenly Father loves His children and dearly wants us to return to Him. In Spanish, the very first phrase we learn is ” Dios nos ama”, and I don´t think we learn it so quickly just because it´s simple to remember. Heavenly Father loves us more than we can possibly comprehend, and it´s because of that love that we are here today.
I love you all so much and I hope to hear from you all soon!
Hermana Ius
Note from Savannah: Hermana Ius’s district has changed, she’s in 10c now. If you’re planning on writing her keep that in mind (the address on the blog will be updated too…when she remembers to send me the password to do so).  

First Week at the CCM!

¡Hola everybody!

I have now officially been here at the CCM (Mexico City MTC) for 10 days! How insane is that? I have had so many wonderful experiences already that I could never fit them all into just one email, so I guess I´ll just have to tell you all about them in person in 18 months.
First of all, Mom, I’m sorry I didn’t email you  on Wednesday (Note from Savannah: We were originally told her P-day was going to be Wednesday, but didn’t hear from her until today). My first day here, they closed my district because we were so small. I was originally in a trio, but Hermana Christensen got bumped into another companionship, so it’s just me and Hermana Jensen now. We’re both from Utah and we’re both going to the Bolivia Santa Cruz Mission, so that’s muy bueno. We live in a little casa on campus, and there’s supposed to be four hermanas in a room but there’s just two of us. As a result, I now have an extra pillow and blanket to sleep with a night. One could say I’ve been very blessed indeed. Anyway, as a result of having our district close, we were moved into a new district and thus got a new P-Day.
The español is coming along much faster than I would have guessed! Just two days after arriving, we taught our first lesson to an “investigator”, and it went surprisingly well.     We’ve now taught all the lessons, which is just insane to believe is possible after having only studied the language for about a week. All I can say is that the gift of tongues is real! At the end of our last lesson, Hermano de Santiago pulled us aside and told us we didn’t need to be so nervous when teaching the lesson because our language was doing great. It was so nice to hear that, because some days you feel like you could speak all day in the new language, and some days you’re not sure if you learned anything and it’s really hard.
The food here is also great! Hermana Jensen and I have already determined that by the time we leave, we will be VERY fat, but then we can lose all our weight when we get to the field.
I’ve had some funny experiences here already. On Sunday, we had interviews with our Branch, and the assistant to the Branch president was interviewing me. He doesn’t speak a lot of English, but he asked me what my ethnicity is because I looked Latin American. I just laughed and told him I was half-Filipino. But a lot of the Latin missionaries have asked me if my last name is Spanish since I’ve been here. I think they’re a little confused because I look like a Mexican but my companion is blonde and has green eyes, so obviously I’m not a local. I hope they weren’t too disappointed.
Our Sister-Training-Leaders are the absolute best! We give them hugs everytime we see them. One of our teachers loves giving the missionaries hugs, but of course you can’t hug the Hermanas, so he gives us “special handshakes” where we shake hands, do a hand hug, then a fist bump with sound effects. It’s funny, but we’re a little hug deprived, hence why we hug our Sister-Training-Leaders all the time.
Most of the Hermanas here are going Stateside. I’ve only met two other missionaries going to Bolivia, and most of the missionaries who flew in here with us are going to either Peru, Uruguay, or Paraguay. It looks like Bolivia is a pretty rare mission indeed!
One day, Hermana Jensen and I were walking down the street when some of the Latin missionaries pulled us aside and asked if one of them could practice his English with us. We said sure, and after asking the typical “where are you from, where are you going” questions, he got to one that he refused to ask. After arguing with his buddy for a few seconds, he then turns to us and says, “He wants to know if you’ll wait for him!”. It was funny but a little awkward, so Hermana Jensen was just like, “Um, page 33 of the mission manual, guys.” (Basically no relationships on the mish). The guys laughed and then asked if we had anyone waiting for us, to which we just said no, or at least none that we know of. It was pretty funny afterwards.
We did meet one Elder who’s actually from Bolivia, Santa Cruz, and when he found out that’s where we’re going, he got super excited. Apparently his mom has been cooking for the sister missionaries there for 18 years, and he wants us to contact her for him when we get there.
Tomorrow, we will have one month left at the CCM until we head out to Bolivia! Even though we still know very little Spanish, we’re all so excited to get out of here and do some real missionary work! The Spirit is so strong here at the CCM, my testimony has grown exponentially. I was labled at the “most excited missionary” when we first arrived, and all I could think when I heard that was, “Well, yeah! How can you be unhappy when you’re doing the Lord’s work?” This is probably the happiest I’ve ever been, and even though we literally live in a classroom from 6:30 AM to 10:30 PM and we study all day long, I feel so grateful to be here and I wouldn’t change anything for a minute.
I hope you are all doing just dandy!
Hermana Ius😄