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
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