Monday, September 24, 2012

Update from August 17th

We are excited to hear from Hermana Savage again today! Here is last week's update. Please write her :) She sent us pictures, so I will upload those this week.


Hola Familia!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSH!!!!!!!!!!!! (on wednesday :)) i am so sad i am missing your birthday but i am sure it will be as awesome as ever!! eat a piece of cake for me and let lindsay have an extra bowl of clusterfluff for me :)
well another week has gone by and so much has happened! first lets say my spanish is still awful. but i am conitnually working on it i only burst into tears once this week i believe so that is a step in the right direction! funny thing, on sunday there was this lady who was visiting the english ward right after our sacrament meeting but she was hispanic, so we went and said hello to her and she got mad at me and my comp because we weren't speaking spanish 24/7. she said that is how she learned english was by going to a english ward, since mom you sent that letter and then that lady told us that we have been working on increasing our spanish speaking. we still aren't doing 24/7 but we are improving. i still love my companion! we get along so well and everything is just great. one funny thing is she made cookies to give to some less actives and she was saying how all of the people she makes cookies for love them and all the elders love them and what not, and then she is like want to know my secret? and i obviously did and she said "i don't put the salt in!" that made me really curious to try her cookies, considering the salt is to enhance the flavor... they were nasty! haha but then again i am used to tylers to DIE for chocolate chip cookies :)
so this week for teaching was interesting. we have decided to call it the week of cancelations! there were SOOOOO many cancelations. we are still teaching rosa which is good but she hasn't come to church which is really bad, actually we went to teach her on tuesday and when we got there she was outside and her sister was there as well and her sister started yelling at us and telling us that rosa really didn't want the gospel and that she was going to call the cops. we just stood there awkwardly rosa told her to go in the house and that she really did want us here. obviously this is what hermana gonzalez told me in the car because i didn't know what was being said hahaha but i did know she was yelling at us ha!
i can't remember if i told you about the couple we found when we were looking for an old investagtor? beningo and elizabeth? anyways we taught them the plan of salvation our first meeting and they had alot of questions but they told us we could come back so we went back this past week and taught them the restoration. it went awesome!! be-ding-a-ding (that is what i call him because i can't pronounce his name obviously not to his face) prayed at the end of the lesson which was SOO NEAT! he told us he didn't know how so hermana gonzalez taught him the order of prayer and then we just sat and waited for him to start, and just when we were both going to look up he started and it was awesome! we also asked them what they would do if they found out for themselves if this was true. they said they would act. we invited them to be baptized but they didn't accept. but i know that once they know for themselves then they will be baptized because they already said they would act upon it. we also invited them to church but they didn't come which was lame but its ok! they are one of my favorites to teach!
we taught the two teenage girls cynthia and wendy. so their mom is a recent convert and she makes us dinner everytime we come to teach. so we ate dinner and all of the sudden my stomach started to feel really bad. i started praying that i would be able to get through the lesson and then i could find a bathroom. well that obviously was not what Heavenly Father had in mind so i excused myself to the bathroom and remember that night at the MTC when i had a "get rid of everything in me fest?" well let me tell you it happened again!! but to a much smaller scale. i didn't throw up which was a good thing but i pooped for days. i also had a heat flash so i had to strip down. all of the sudden my poor companion had to come and see if i was ok. i told her i was dying and that i would be out soonish. she obviously finished the lesson. once i felt ok i went out. i honestly was so embarassed but what can you do? and i felt so bad because the mom felt awful that it was something she fed me but who knows what it was! we told her that it wasn't her and that i would be ok. we left their house and my comp asked me if i was ok. luckily i had already told her the mtc story so i just told her i had another incident but to a smaller scale. we went back to our apartment and i got really curious because i realized that i was wearing the EXACT same outfit as i wore at the MTC that night. so i looked back at my journal notes and believe it or not it was the exact same day just one month later!! i think there is something wrong with me. but don't worry i am ok now :)
well since we had so many cancelations it gave us the opportunity to go tracting/finding. we decided to go tract different streets and it was so neat because there were so many times that my comp would say "what house should we hit" or "what street should we go down?" or "let me know if you have any inspirations." and i am not even joking i would always get a feeling we should go to a certain street or a certain house and 96% of the time we would find someone who wanted to learn more! we have 9 new potential investagtors this next week and a couple of them are families! we are stoked!! we just hope they don't all fall through like alot of tracting appointments do.
well that is just some highlights from my week! my testimony is continually growing and so is my love for the gospel and the Book of Mormon! it is amazing that i am out here serving and teaching others and yet i am the one who is learning and being taught so much! I love my mission! even when it is so hard and i don't understand what anyone is saying or when i want to tell someone something so bad but i don't have the vocabulary to say it, or when i am so tired and i don't want to get out of bed or walk down another road. i still love it!
thank you mom so much for the package!! the salsa is bomb and thanks for the chips!! just to give you a timing idea i received the package on friday, i also received all the kids letters on friday. friday was the BEST!!! it was so great to hear from everyone and it sounds like everything is crazy as usual!! also thanks for sending the pics! the green looks so great! i can't wait to show everyone my skills when i get back! also i am so happy that lauren bought peggy sue!! i miss you all so much and i love you!!
love, hermana savage
ps. josh i have a job for you... every sunday can you look up the weather of Elgin, Illinois or West Dundee, Illinois (either one they are practically the same place) for the week and send it to me in an email??? it is always so hard to decide what to wear at 6:30 in the morning when i don't know if it will be cold or hot because it is always cold at that time :)
-dad, west dundee is sort of like lindonish, and elgin is like provo and then there is carpentersville which is like orem so to speak. like if you weren't from illinois and didn't look at the signs then it would be all one big area. west dundee is really small and then carpentersville is bigger and elgin is the biggest :) but they are much like the size of lindon, orem, and provo :)
pss... TY!!!!! was homecoming this past saturday or this coming saturday??? SEND ME PICS!!!!! and you must write me a letter to tell me ALLLLL about it. i need details! i hope it was/will be so much fun!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Last Week's Update:)

Although the Spanish is hard...She is SOOOO optimistic and happy. These emails totally make my whole week!! Looking forward to the newest email coming today!! Write her!! It makes a HUGE difference. Instructions on how to write her are available in the "mission info" tab above. No pictures yet, but I will post them as soon as I get them :) -Ashley

hola familia!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHAD!!!!!!! it sounds like it was awesome!

wow! i can't believe that it has already been a week! time really does fly, thank you for your emails! i am not sure what is best for writing, if you email i will get it on monday, if you snail mail i will get it probably friday or saturday if you send it on monday, and if you dear elder i will probably get it like 2 or 3 days after you send it, so i don't really know what is best for you, also i don't know how much time i will have to write each of you a letter anymore so don't expect those as much but i will still try and email and write.  also guess what tomorrow is???? my official 2 month mark!! i can't even believe it!

so yes my apartment is a little guy apartment, but it is cute! and i love being right across from the river, it really is "fairy-tale"ish.  i will hopefully take a picture soon! but i really like Elgin it is a fun area, but i have NOOOO sense of direction considering there are no mountains to help me out.  i never know where i am or what i am close to because everything looks the same to me... TREES! there are trees everywhere its really weird to not be able to see the whole valley.  I really like my companion, hermana gonzalez.  she is really nice and is helping me alot.  my spanish is still awful but we are trying to figure out a good plan to help me speak it more and to help me learn quicker.  it truly is so hard for me.  the first two days i was here (tuesday and wednesday) i had many moments when i would just burst into tears!! it was awful and i felt so bad because i think she thought i was crazy! haha. but i am doing better.  i just felt so overwhelmed and i was just stripped from my best friends out here and thrown into the real world.  but i am at least getting the hang of the schedule and what is expected of me.  but satan sure works on you out here, at least for me he tries to bring me down in every way possible, but i am working on kicking him out of my head and thinking positive! 

so i won't tell you about all our investagators but only the ones that i had a cool experience with.  So there are these 2 girls out here who are 15 and 17 whos mom just got baptized a little while ago, i am pretty sure they have had all the lessons so we are just reading the book of mormon with them when we visit them.  one of them has their date set for sometime in november, we are trying to convince her to move it up but she doesn't want to, the other one is wanting to wait 2 years for when her brother comes home from his mission.  we are hoping that the influence of the other makes her progress quicker.  I love teaching these girls! considering they speak english probably helps so we teach in a spanglish mix.  but random fact.. they love one direction!! hahaha i think they think it is cool that i love them also and that i went to their concert because they are always showing me different things that they have of theirs.  oh fun times :)

on thursday we had a lesson with rosa.  we were teaching her the gospel of jesus christ.  we went to her home and started teaching her and her daughters melissa and jennifer who are young, like 11 or something.  usually only jennifer stays but melissa stayed this time.  we started teaching and i said my couple of sentences and then we started talking about baptism.  i all of the sudden had this thought to ask her if baptism was important to her.  i got so nervous because i wasn't sure how to say it "correctly" in spanish.  it took me a while to get the guts to say anything but i finally jumped in and asked her.  she said that it was important.  i then bore my testimony about it and then my comp asked her to be baptized.  after she thought for a minute she said YES!!! i was STOKED! she set her date for oct. 6 (which later we realized it is general conference so we have to change it.) but we were so excited we finished the lesson and on the drive home my comp said "i am so happy you had that impression to ask her that, i didn't even think about asking her to be baptized until after you asked her that." it kind of hit me that if i hadn't had the guts to ask her then we wouldn't have committed her.  it was a really cool experience for me to follow the holy ghost.  and it increased my faith that Heavenly Father will help me know what to say. 

on saturday we had a little extra time so we went to find this girl who had been taught the lessons awhile ago but isn't being taught anymore, we drove to what we thought was her home but it wasn't.  there were two people sitting outside, we did a little intro thing and they said they wanted to know more, so we taught them the plan of salvation.  ok let me rephrase that, hermana gonzalez taught them the plan of salvation, she did great :) i gave my two cents but it wasn't much.  they told us they wanted us to come back so we are hoping that it is a good sign!

another thing that we have done alot is visiting less actives.  when we go we just read the book of mormon with them.  it is really interesting to me how important the book of mormon truly is and it is also intresting that probably 99.999% of the less actives we are teaching are either not reading the book of mormon or they are just starting now that we are meeting with them.  it truly has been a testimony builder for me of how important it is to read the book of mormon and that it truly plays a huge part on keeping us on the straight and narrow path.  never stop reading it!!

ok funny story.  when we were teaching wendy and cynthia (the 15 and 17 year old) their mom made us dinner.  it was spicy rice and ribs.  well considering that i am not the hugest rib fan it was interesting to say the least.  and i didn't realize these ribs had bones still in them, not a fan of eating meat off of a bone... ok first off she gave us our plates and she gave us spoons to eat it with.  not just normal spoons, no HUGE spoons.  like the kind we use to make cookies with.  yes spoons to eat ribs.  so i ate my rice and it was really good but REALLY spicy.  and then i was trying to decide how to eat my ribs with a spoon.  so i would first try and saw off a little piece but that didn't work to well, so then i would push down really hard usually resulting in the spoon smacking down on the plate.  i went back to the sawing.  i eventually would get little pieces off and then would eat them.  but one time i sawed off a piece that was a little bigger then the others but still edible.  so i put it in my mouth and then i realized it had 2 bones in it!! i ate the meat off the bones but i didn't know what to do because i didn't want to spit them out and her think that i was spitting out the food, so i kept them in my mouth and ate around them.  hahaha. and then when i was almost done eating she went up and got something and i grabbed a napkin and spit the bones in them.  funniest part is, right as she walked out hermana gonzalez also grabbed a napkin and spit some bones into it!! hahaha.  after the appointment we both laughed at how awkward it was to eat meat with spoons and eat with bones in our mouths. 

another random thing i have eaten here is pineapple with chile pepper on it.  it is nasty.  nuff said. 

church was really overwhelming.  i was introduced to many many people, and i didn't understand anything.  everyone hermana gonzalez would introduce me to she would always say, she only knows a little bit of spanish so we are going to help her.  everyone agreed that they would help me which is good and comforting, but i am telling you i can't wait until the day that i understand everything and that i can talk back to them! it really is going to be the best day ever! i want to do and say so much more but i have no words.  it definitely has caught a fire in me to learn the language as quickly as possible! but it is nice that even though i didn't understand pretty much anything that was taught the spirit was so strong as it always is and the gospel is the same everywhere you go :)

that is pretty much my week! i was wondering mom if you could send me my underarmour and that pink fleece sweat shirt thing that i wear in the winter? it is starting to get cooler here, but i love fall weather! i am definitely nervous for the winter though, i think i might die! oh also i will probably be either going today or next monday to the store to start getting some boots and coats and things to help me survive the winter just so you know when you look at my card and see that it is being used :)

also i am going to try and send some pictures over email maybe today or next monday depending on how much time i have left to email, they will probably be mostly MTC pictures because i haven't taken much here but ya.  I love you all and miss you so much!! missions are hard but they are wonderful!! i love it!

Love, hermana savage

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Hey everyone!! This is Ashley again. Just wanted to let you all know that Brooke has made it to Chicago safe and sound! She left the MTC Monday morning at 2:45am!!!! Her flight left at 6:02am. She was able to call us from the airport. She sounds just like her amazing, bubbly self. We could tell that she was nervous but who wouldn't be!? It was so great to actually hear her voice. She was so cute. She kept responding to us with si! (meaning yes in Spanish). It was so funny.  Her mind is transitioning to Spanish! Her email from TODAY is below with the newest details about her area, her new companion and her last few days in the MTC. Her P-day will now be on Monday's so that's when you can plan to get the email updates. I will put her new address and mailing/emailing info in the tab above that says "mission info". Let me know if you have questions!!! Write her!!!!!!!!! It really makes her whole day feel like Christmas!! You can email her but she can only reply by letter to people outside her immediate family, so if you do email her, make sure to include your physical address so she can write you back. Or, just write an actual letter :)

hola familia!
holy cow i don't even know where to begin or how to even explain how i am feeling.  First i can't even tell you how wonderful it was to talk to you early monday morning! i wish we could have talked a lot longer but it was still so great! everyone sounds like they are doing amazing and i miss you all so much.
let me back track on what has happened this past week. for the last couple days at the MTC it was very interesting and very good.  on friday we had infield orientation all day which is like a 12 hour workshop with everyone who was leaving the next week.  it was just ok, i felt like they just went over everything they had been drilling into our brains for the past 9 weeks so i felt like it was sort of redundant.  and it was the first time we hadn't been with our elders for an entire day and i didn't realize how much i would miss them which made going to chicago that much more real.  although we still did eat lunch and dinner with them.  and it was funny because for both lunch and dinner you could tell how excited they were to see us as well and that they had all this stuff to tell us that had happened in class that day which we missed.  we thought it was funny because they act like they don't care that we werent there but then at the same time they were excited to see us at lunch and dinner hahaha.  anyways then on saturday we did the regular class and what not and then we packed our lives away.  it is definitely a skill i am going to have by the time i am home from my mission! after much readjusting i got my suitcases down to the perfect weights.  sunday was one of the best days in the MTC for me, but it was also one of the hardest and saddest.  Since it was fast sunday we had a mission conference instead of relief society or priesthood.  It is a 2 hour long thing with all the missionaries.  it was really good! after we went straight to sacrament meeting.  like i told you on the phone i bore my testimony, prayed, and sang with my district.  i have no idea what they are going to do now that i am gone :) just kidding! it was awesome. our song was so wonderful.  after we went back to our rooms and had a lesson on the holy ghost that us hermanas gave, we found out like 10 min before that we were going to be the ones doing it so it ended up being more of a discussion between our district.  it was awesome! Brother Doman asked the elders if there was anything that they wanted to say to us since it was our last week.  boom every elders hand shot into the air, it was funny because we didn't think they cared that much!  they told us how much they loved us in their district, and how with our example they feel like we have helped them turn from 19 year old boys to 19 year old men of God.  also elder hill said "i didn't want to tell you this because i didn't want to be sappy but on friday when you were in infield orientation and not here with us i didn't realize how much i would miss you hermanas and how much it felt like there was a hole in our district." all of the other elders agreed.  we truly are all best friends.  after they all said their nice things Brother Doman had the hermanas bear our testimonies for the last time.  it was a major crying fest for us hermanas and surprisingly it was for our elders as well! we then went on our last temple walk as a district and then to dinner together.  after we had a goodbye meeting that we had to go to where i had to pray in english, it was very strange and surprisingly confusing for me. haha i haven't said a prayer outloud for a group of people in english in 2 months! and all my personal prayers are in spanglish.  but it went good.  after that we went to our devotional for the night which was the video of president monsons 85th birthday. it was really good and it would have been amazing to go to!  after instead of going to a movie (each sunday they show movies of past general authority talks that were given to the MTC that are only accessable to the MTC.) we went back to our classroom and spent our last night all together hanging out and being friends.  the elders gave us all blessings which were amazing and much needed, it was such a neat experience for our district.  after since earlier the elders had all complimented us we went around and told each elder our favorite thing about them.  it was hilarious.  then after that and after the movie was over our zone came in to say goodbye to us.  it is a tradition to sing God be with you til we meet again. obviously in spanish.  and then everyone went down and we had a "handshake" goodbye line.  after everyone left our district did one more "group hug" (each night the hermanas stand in the middle and the elders make a circle around us, since we can't hug each other.) and a district cheer.  we slowly made our way out the door and down to where we go one way and they go the other.  we were all walking so slow and just talking because we knew once we were split, then that was it.  we all promised we would be friends after.  they gave us all one last hand shake and some encourgaging words and then we left.  we cried alot walking back to our room but once we got back we flew into motion and finished packing and got to bed much too late. 
ok so that was the MTC goodbye experience.  after i talked to you on monday i got on the plane and i was walking to my seat and i look up and BOOM chris, my next door neighbor from last year at college was sitting on the plane!! obviously we were both so confused! then i realized that the open seat next to him was my assigned seat!!! hahahaha it was the randomest most crazy thing ever.  we caught up some and then i crashed! i slept until we landed in chicago.  we got off the plane and walked to get our luggage where President and Sister Fenn were waiting for us.  when they greeted me they said "Sister Savage, we have been excited to meet you because this morning we got a phone call from your grandpa!" I was stoked!! it meant so much to me that Grandpa took time out of his crazy schedule to call my mission president and let him know i was going to be coming that day.  it was definitely comforting!  we then got our luggage and put it in a trailer to be taken to the mission home.  then it was time for our surprise.  we were going to ride the metro down to downtown chicago where we were suppose to contact people and give away a book of mormon, and then we were going to meet up with President and Sister Fenn for lunch.  the metro ride down was exciting.  i didn't place by book of mormon but hermana hansen placed hers which was awesome and she was so stoked about!  we then had lunch obviously being chicago style pizza.  it was divine... we then spent a couple of hours just walking the streets of chicago and sort of exploring.  we went to the "bean" which was so cool.  we then made our way back to the train to go to the mission home.  it was fun to be back in a train/metro station and reminded me of the wonderful times in europe!! i loved it! we trained back and we all crashed on the train.  we were so tired! when we got back to the home we went and had dinner and dessert and then we had interviews with President Fenn it was just a get to know you interview.  and then we slept.  and it was one of the best nights rests i have had in a LOOONNNNGGGG time!  this morning we woke up and had breakfast and then went on our way to go to our mission orientation meeting. they talked to us for about 2ish hours and then we got assigned new companions.  my companions name is Hermana Gonzalez.  she is a native hispanic but her english is perfect.  she is so cute and has a bubbly personality, she loves to run, and she is so full of energy! i think we will get along great :) it is so sad for me to say goodbye to my other companions. we have become best friends and seriously i don't know how well i am going to take not being with them 24/7. we all know each other so well and are just best friends, but this is part of the mission, changing areas and companions is a regular thing so i better get used to it now!  we then made our way to my new home for the next little bit.  my area is the Elgin area. but i live in Dundee which is right out of Elgin.  Hermana Gonzalez has been here for her entire 7 months of her mission.  she loves it here.  it is a very old town with really cute vintage houses, it definitely is not down town chicago by any means but it is very homey feeling.  I met the branch mission leaders wife who is super nice and loving.  she went on a mission to provo a long time ago.  she seems awesome! Hermana Gonzalez told me that the branch here is amazing and so loving.  she also said that we have a lesson tonight on the Plan of Salvation... yes i am freaking out. 
so that is what has happened.  i feel super overwhelmed and very nervous.  i miss my district and my companions like crazy but i am trying hard not to concentrate on it because it really isn't that big of deal.  this definitely is going to be the hardest thing i have ever done but i am really excited for my mission to be "real" 
so they said that if you send packages to the mission home address then i won't get it from anywhere from 1 week to 1 month, it just depends on when the DL goes and picks it up and then brings it to me.  also letters can be sent to the mission home and then they will forward them to me or here is my new address:
562 Lincoln Ave.
West Dundee, Illinois 60118
you can send packages here as well, our mission president said that sometimes packages get stolen that is why they wait for someone to pick them up but my companion just has her family and friends send things to our apartment, so it is up to you :) umm monday is my p-day except this week obviously.  and i think that is it!  i will try and send some pictures home this coming monday but we will see if i can figure out how to do it on the computer and if not then i will just send my SD card again.
please write me even though dear elders aren't quite as convient here, letters or email is fine, but i can only email immediate family so if can you tell everyone if they do email me to email me their address as well and so i can write them back?
I love and miss you all!!
love, hermana savage!!

Hopefully she will be sending pictures of her in Chicago soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Week 5

hola familia!!
oh what a week!! i think i feel this way each week but this one especially. so as for day to day things everything is still the same.  still learning spanish, still learning how to teach effectively, etc. this week we taught our investigator andres.  our lesson went pretty well. we didn't have any awful laughing fits so we thought that it went well! also since we are into week 6 we are starting to teach each other as investagtors.  the hermanas are teaching elder captain and we are being taught by elder bringhurst and elder ray.  we were quite nervous about this because instead of teaching people who know spanish really well we are teaching our elders who know it better then we do but who don't know it that well and the fact that they are our in our district and we since our spanish is awful we knew they would get a kick out of our lessons.  but actually it was much more enjoyable and much more real.  we loved it! it is really interesting to play an investagator roll and coming up with questions that real investagators would have.  but it is very hard to relay our train of thoughts into spanish.  so yes spanish is still much of a struggle.  some days are good where we feel like we can do this and that we can learn spanish, other times it is rough and we feel like spanish will never come and we just want to speak english.  but it is coming. 
on sunday for relief society the general primary president came and spoke to us! it was amazing seriously it was probably one of my most favorite talks.  not only did she have a really good lesson she incorporated primary songs into it so we all got to sing primary songs! it made me sort of miss home considering mom is the primary chorister and the fact that i was always in primary! and it was neat, she added a verse to i hope they call me on a mission. i can't remember it right now but i wrote it down so i will send it in my letter home!  it was awesome and the spirit was so strong! the last thing she asked us was where ever we were going to please go to the primary children and tell them how much they are loved and to start preparing for a mission.  also for relief society sister giles {from high school} sang come thou fount.  it was amazing! she is so talented!
also sunday i had my leadership meeting and in it our branch president asked me if i would ask hermana smith if she would give the prayer for the tuesday night devotional in two weeks.  obviously hermana smith accepted, and lucky for us that means hermana hansen and i get to sit on the stage with her! we are praying for an apostle to come!! ha i will let you know next p-day the verdict on that one :) also sunday my companions decided that we were going to go to choir practice to sing in the choir on tuesday.  let me tell you by playing soccer at gym time and going to choir i don't know if there is anything else i can surprise you with! sunday was the rehersal and we sang Redeemer of Israel.  So tuesday was quite the day.  we went to choir practice and then to dinner and then back to the devotional.  the devotional started and then we sang. it was great and our district said we were on the screen so i guess that is exciting ha.  well we finish singing and David F. Evans of the 70's wife stood up and gave a 5 minute testimony.  as she sat down i all of the sudden had the urge to throw up.  so i lean over to hermana hansen and say "i think i am going to throw up." she obviously replys with "ok do we need to go?" i thought i would be fine but like a minute passed and i lean over and say "yes we need to go i am going to throw up." so we immediately grabbed our things and we left.  i ran out of the gym and straight to the bathroom.  and then it hit.  not throwup but diarrhea.  and then ... right as i finished boom throw up.  considering i am really talented i made it to the toilet for both ends! and then boom! back to diarrhea. and then throw up. then diarrhea and then throw up back and forth it went.. oh and in the middle of this going on i was having the largest heat flash of my life so i some how managed to strip down. luckily my companions were guarding the door outside.  this diarrhea/throwup fest went on straight for a whole hour no joke! and considering i had just eaten dinner none of my dinner food had been fully digested there for i was throwing up full bites/chunks of broccoli. chicken. rice. potatoes. and teryaki sauce. lets just say it is going to be a LLLLLOOOOONNNNNGGGGG time until i can eat/look at ANY of those things again.  once i decided that i was ok for a second i laid down on the bathroom floor. funny thing is earlier that morning i said to my companions "you would never catch me dead walking into any of the bathrooms with out shoes on." and here i was laying on the floor with my face barely elevated from my skirt.  i think i fell asleep for a second because the next thing i know hermana hansen popped her head in and asked if i was ok.  i woke up and i sat for a little bit and then decided i was fine.  i cleaned up and got dressed, i pulled my sweat drenched hair into a bun and found my companions.  they were obviously worried about me but i told them i felt totally fine except i was a little weak from having all my insides explode.  i felt good enough to go to our district meeting where the elders informed us of what was taught.  we were all sad that we missed the devotional because it really is our most favorite part of the week, but i am so thankful for companions who will sit outside the door and who worry about me.  and even though the first time they asked me if i was ok i yelled at them. {yes i said sorry after, i felt sooooo bad.} but they told me they didn't want to just sit and listen so they studied their scriptures together.  they are pretty awesome! yesterday everytime i ate and walked around my stomach would just churn.  its strange because i feel completely fine except my stomach.  and today is sorta the same thing just much more mild.  i hope that it will be ok tomorrow because i am STARVING because i only am eating a little bit because it hurts so much when i eat.  but its all good!!
also yesterday hermana hansen had an MRI on her toe. we have not heard the final verdict but we are hoping that she doesn't need surgery! also elder wright in my district broke his ankle and tore some ligaments playing basketball! he finds out in 2.5 weeks if he has to stay 2 weeks longer or if he will be ok.  we hope he is ok because he definitely doesn't want to stay here any longer. it truly is amazing at how many people are "broken" here.  everywhere we go people are on crutches or in a wheel chair or has some sort of cast.  but kind of a cool story.. i guess in the elders dorm they don't have an elevator so elder hill in our district carries elder wright up the stairs every day multiple times a day.  now elder wright isn't 200 pounds but he isn't 145 either.  we just thought it was so cool that one of the elders in our district would do that.  we feel so blessed that we are in this district, the elders are so awesome and we learn so much from them everyday! also between hermana hansens toe and elder wrights ankle and elder hill was sick our elders have had the opportunity to give 3 healing blessings.  it really is the neatest thing to half be a part of.  it the elders always talk about how awesome of an experience it is for them as well.
yesterday we got a new district! no hermanas :( we are so sad and that means that there are about 50 people in our zone which means we are in a sea of elders! we try and share our "hermananess" with all the districts but our district is definitely the luckiest :) and actually they tell us how happy they are that we are here because we keep them somewhat on task haha but i have only met 2 of the new elders so far, but one of the elders is from spanish fork, he is one of nates friends his name is elder jex i think... but he was excited when i told him that ash was my sister! i will meet them all tonight because i have to give a little presentation to them with the zone leaders tonight. 
well it has been an exciting week!! i find out for sure when i leave once i get my travel plans which usually come a week before we leave, we are still showing to be leaving the 3rd so i am not sure if that is right or if is a typo, but i will find out for sure a week before if i get travel plans or not.  sorry that isn't much time if you have to get off work mom but also alot of people leave here at like 3am so maybe i will be calling home at like 4am or something, but hopefully it is a good time, and hopefully it is the 3rd because that is labor day therefore the kids won't have school and i don't know if mom will be working all day.  ill try and keep you updated on that one. thank you everyone for the letters!! they are awesome!! and like i always say... KEEP WRITING!!! i don't think you realize how awesome it is to get a letter until you are a missionary. pratically christmas!! I love and miss you all! i can't wait to get out to chicago but at the same time i am still loving the MTC!
love, hermana savage

Week 4

I know I am a few weeks behind! Here is week 4's email :)

Hola Familia!!!
HOLY COW!! i love the lindon days photos!! everyone looks so great and so cute! i am sad i am missing lindon days right now but its ok :) will you send me a picture of the LML float? and ya mom i would love a skirt! probably the gray one because i have 2 black ones :) thanks so much!
Well i can't even believe it, in 2 days i will have been at the MTC for a whole month! time is FLYING by its crazy.  Right now my estimated leaving date is sept. 3 which is 9 days earlier then the elders going to provo and st. george so we aren't sure if that is real or if it will get changed, but if it is real that means i have less then a month left here and if it will get changed then i have about a month left.  I don't know exactly how i feel about it because i love it here and i don't think i know enough to go to chicago but at the same time i am so excited to leave and get going into the real world!
this week has been a whirlwind of things.  This past sunday as you know i had to pray, i was SOO nervous.  I don't 100% enjoy praying in a large group let alone praying in spanish! needless to say it was a success! Heavenly Father truly did help me know the words to say and not mess up on my pronunciation.  I was super relieved when it was over but it definitely boosted my confidence in my spanish praying abilities!  Also on sunday we said goodbye to another district in our zone. The district that left was by far our favorite district in our zone.  There were 2 hermanas and one elder going to texas and then 3 elders going to las vegas.  They are going to  be amazing missionaries and even though it was so sad for us we were also so excited for them! But that also meant we lost 2 hermanas in our zone which means my companionship is the only hermanas in our zone of 40ish missionaries.  Luckily we have enough personality for everyone :) hahaha.  we keep hoping that we get new districts with hermanas but the past 2 new ones have been all elders.
this past week for personal study i decided to read the first chapters in each book of the book of mormon.  It was the neatest thing! It was amazing how in most of the beginning books it talked about how either everyone was righteous or how the nephites were righteous or what not and how every time the Lord would promise his children that if they were righteous they would prosper in the land.  or that he would protect them.  and then he would say but "WHEN, they choose to go astray..." then they will no longer prosper and the Lords wrath will come upon them.  I thought this was so neat because it wasn't IF they go astray but it was WHEN they go astray.  Also as it got later into the book of mormon it would say how the Lord wasn't blessing them because they were not staying righteous.  and as i was reading this i would try and figure out the main message of the chapter and sometimes it was said flat out and i would have to dig but it was cool how it was continuelly the same message over and over but it was said in different ways.  I also loved 4th nephi.  it is only one chapter long but in the beginning both the nephites and the lamanites were all one people and living in peace.  but by the end of the chapter not only had the lamanites gone wicked so did the nephites.  It is amazing how when the Lord would bless his people they over time would become prideful and then become wicked.  And i feel like that is still how it is today, we are continuelly stuck in the pride cycle.  But when we decide to choose the right and live righteously we are blessed.  The Lord always keeps his promise as long as we keep our side of the deal and live righteously!
So this past week with teaching was quite the event.  We finished teaching patricia who we had committed to baptism and she was going to church and reading the book of mormon.  We then started teaching andre.  Earlier this week we had a class about how to improve teaching and flow between each companion and the lesson as a whole.  We were so excited about our lesson because we felt like it was the most preapred and that it was going to flow really well.  well lets just say that it didn't go as planned.  first hermana smith said she was from hermana smith not that her name was hermana smith.  and then in the middle of our lesson it was time for hermana smith to ask a question and she said... "no palabras por me pregunta." which pretty much means no words for my question.  which translates to i can't remember my question.  i giggled.  and i was worried that all hope was lost but it wasn't i composed myself and hermana hansen stepped in and we continued.  then andre asked something about the book of mormon.  that is where hermana hansen stepped in and said "el libro de mormon, es el.. libro... de.... mormon..." which is the book of mormon is the... book.. of... mormon..." andre, hermana smith, and i laughed.  it took a little longer for me to compose myself because everytime i would look at hermana smith we would both start to laugh again.  hermana hansen then continued with something to the effect of can you read the 2nd to last paragraph... but instead of the real word for paragraph she said... paragraph..o... obviously trying to make up her own spanish word.  we lost it.  some how we finished our lesson and got out but once we left the room we were about falling on the floor laughing because it was the worst lesson since the first lesson we ever gave 4 weeks ago! We were sort of annoyed that we had prepared so much and were so gungho about it and that it failed but it definitely is giving us something to laugh about each day!
the next day we taught jorge.  this was our 3rd lesson with him and we again prepared very hard for it and we were ready.  we all made a promise not to make up anywords and to focus on what we were saying so we wouldn't mess up.  it was a success! actually it was more then a success, we felt like it was the best lesson we had ever given.  it definitely boosted our confidence from what happened with andre.  we teach him tomorrow so hopefully we can redeem ourselves!
somedays i feel like i am a spanish wizard and that i am so good at spanish, other days i about want to burst into tears because i don't know how to say anything.  but i continue to tell myself that it is a work in progress and that if heavenly father asked me to speak spanish then i can speak spanish! This past week was also very spiritual.  on sunday we heard from Brother and Sister Nally.  It was so good it was about what it takes to be a good missionary and how to develop christ like attributes.  It was very good! and then on tuesday we heard from Elder Dellenbach.  He taught on the book of mormon.  It was amazing, and it was neat because if i look back and think of what he was actually saying and teaching about it was more about statistics of the book of mormon and Joseph Smith, but my notes is completely different.  It is amazing how the Holy Ghost can teach you different things from what the words people are actually saying.  We then had our district devotional after which is where we all go around and share something that we liked from the fireside.  These are always my favorite.  and this past tuesday definitely didn't disappoint.  it was actually the first one that i think all of us were crying in.  the spirit was so strong and it was amazing to hear everyone talk about how hard the week has been for them and how there have been times when they wanted to give up and just be done.  We all have grown so much and have all become such amazing friends and it is amazing the things you can learn from 19 year old boys. 
As for a Dr. update yesterday we went to the peditarist for a check up on hermana hansens toe.  they told her that she needs an MRI and that we will have to go back to the MTC and get a note and set an appointment.  as we were waiting for the shuttle a car drives up, out jumps Whitney Mecham from high school. Obviously we ran to each other and caught up a little.  she is leaving on her mission in october and is going to washington.  She actually had an influence on me as i was making my decision to serve a mission and i was so excited to see her! although we won't see each other in the MTC she is going to be an amazing missionary! we made it back to the MTC and talked to the dr who told her she would have to come back tomorrow to get the note and set up the appointment.  this morning we went to the Drs and got her note and everything and they said they would call us back and tell us when her MRI is.  We are a little annoyed because we have no say in when would be the best time for the appointment, instead they are just choosing a time for us to go.  But we haven't heard yet so sometime this week we will be busting out of the MTC for the 4th time.  it has definitely been a rollercoaster with this whole situation but i think it is definitely testing and improving my patience.  we just hope that it will be all better so that in 3ish weeks we will be able to go to chicago all together instead of leaving hermana hansen behind. 
today we went to the temple and did Initiatories.  it was AMAZING. it was my first time back for those and it was much needed.  I loved hearing the blessings again and everything that is included in it.  P-day today has been great, but it is funny because i always thought p-day was a day where we had time for most anything, but that is wrong.  i feel like i am just as busy or more busy in getting things done then i am on any other day. 
Thank you everyone for the letters! they are wonderful!! I can't even explain to you how happy it makes me to know that i have a letter and that people are thinking about me.  Ashley, thank you for the cookies they were divine, and were gone in seconds! Granny, yes the Dear elders are a perfect way to send the weekly emails i LOVE getting them and reading them, i feel like they have helped me so much more now that i am on my mission! Thank you everyone for all the olympic updates! each day the elders in my district ask me if anyone has sent me updates and then we have "news at 9" with olympic updates by hermana savage! hahaha keep sending them especially since they are almost over! it sounds like USA has done amazing as always!  oh half funny story... yesterday i got called "elder" twice... not sure how i feel about it but its all good.  haha. I am sending a package home today of my shoes and some other things, so hopefully it makes it safely, i am also putting my SD card in it so i REALLY hope it makes it safely especially since there are pics on it that only i took with my camera unlike the last SD card.  I am still LOVING the MTC and like i said before i definitely have mixed feelings about leaving.  It has been an amazing experience and i am trying to make the best out of the rest of my time here.  it is amazing at how all the "worldly" things that mattered so much to me when i was at home are not a big deal at all anymore.  the church is true! and i can honestly say that i am the happiest i have ever been! i love it, missions are incredible!! I love and miss you all!!
love, hermana savage!