E-Mail 8/15/13 – (3 e-mails organized and edited for context)

On goes the work…

Last Thursday we went to the Real Madrid Stadium. I feel meh about it but maybe I will learn to appreciate it more as time goes on. All the Elders were giddy little school boys about it so that was cute. Today we are going to an art museum! I am stoked!

On Saturday we went to the park, as usual, and guess what?! I gave away 3 copies of the Book of Mormon! Two of them were to the same guy though…so that seems like cheating. He was practicing his English so we gave him a copy in Spanish and English so he could practice. The other one we gave to the cutest lady. I saw her doing Tai Chi and I waved, she waved back, so I turned to my companion and said “We have to talk to her!”. We asked if we could join her, she taught us Tai Chi, we walked her out of the park while talking about the gospel, gave her a Book of Mormon and told her Moroni´s promise. I didn´t say too much…my spanish is still dreadful, but fortunately my park companion is fluent.

There is an Hermana Green here who was the Senior Class President when Max was the Junior Class President so she says hi. We talk about Max quite a bit. She is definitely going to be the General Relief Society President in the future, so heads up. Also and Elder Ethan Johnson is here and we went to EFY together two years ago. We are going to the same mission…small world right?!

On Sunday we sang “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” as the musical number for the fireside. We ROCKED it. It helps that we have Zooey Deschanel in our district. Her voice is like an angel! OH! It´s Hermana Fuller. In that picture I sent from the airport she´s the tiny one on the opposite side of me and next to her is Hermana Thunborg, my companion. Now you know what they look like! We definitely didn´t know we´d be roommates together, but we bonded at the airport immediately. Precious.

I would send more pictures but I have no time. So when I´m in the field, you´ll get so many. There is some great stuff out here! We are expected to leave September 3rd, fyi. Next week we get all the natives from Spain in the MTC and from that point on, Ingles no mas. Dun dun duuuuuuunnnn!

My Spanish really is coming along, but slowly. The things I say most are “lo siento”, “esta bien”, “…que?”, and “muchas gracias”. Other than that, it´s hit and miss. We taught more lessons without books this week and that has been great. The spirit really does help you with the words when you listen. We also got new fake investigators. I have Iratxe and Carlos. Iratxe is open to religion but doesn´t have any solid beliefs. Carlos is Evangelist. That should be enough of an explanation. He is so difficult! He loves the bible, loves God, doesn´t believe anything we say unless the bible testifies of it… it´s easy…in English. Difficult in Spanish. Oh well! We will get a baptism!

I am able to bear my testimony and say my prayers in Spanish now. I typically supplement my prayers with English here and there but I can do quite a bit. It´s amazing what a simple Spanish testimony, broken and in very short sentences, has the power to accomplish. I love bearing my testimony to my investigators. It burns all the way through you!

This week really wasn´t eventful…sad, huh? But still busy. We have had really great devotionals, firesides, and speakers. Every day is a spiritually uplifting day.

My district is still awesome. My companion and I cried thinking about having to say goodbye and not being able to hug our new brothers. We just love them all too much! But it must happen, so we´ll have to enjoy now while we have it. The best part of my district is how great the testimony meetings are. We are so close and we share some really great stories. There are some incredible people here at the CCM. I can´t imagine life without them! Just like you 😉

Two quotes for the week:

“God is like your grandma. Even if you break her 100 year old face, she´ll still give you a cookie.”

“Everything good takes time.”

I am hearing a bit from both [Jake and Max]. I don´t think I get any long letters from Max, mostly pictures. Of course Max´s letters are better [than mine], He probably has decent computers and more time! I am working with technological rejects and only 30 minutes. Pffft.

Hermana Alissa Thunborg is very cool. She has similar mannerisms to [my firend] Tiana, which is often really weird. She turned 21 shortly before coming out here. She has an awesome testimony. She is really funny. We are definitely in sync now and that is super cool. She has to pee a lot so we spend a lot of time in el bano. But she is way awesome.

[As far as going to the park] It´s been crazy hot so we have been going to the Stake Center instead. We have an hour to exercise…the goal [of contacting in the park/Stake Center] is to not go crazy being stuck sitting inside. We can´t get competitive but otherwise anything goes. Volleyball, futbol, basketball, running…really anything.

You can shop anywhere really. When is the real question. There is a mall that is a 20 minute walk from here, a grocery store across the street and a German store called Lidl´s. We can go, accompanied by a teacher, during physical activity or unaccompanied on P-day. The CCM is very chill compared to the MTC, so I´ve heard. We get to escape a lot.

The French sisters [mentioned in an earlier e-mail] are from France, going to France. The CCM teaches/houses missionaries headed to Spain, Russia, Portugal, Cape Verde, France, and Italy. Maybe more, but I am not sure. We still only have four sisters in our room but it won´t last for much longer.

H Dunn has singled me out as the one person to argue with. Anything I say she fights me on. It´s like…she can´t handle anyone proving her wrong or even less right. Ugh. She´s also really  passive aggressive and likes to awkwardly mention how different we are. She basically has said I find immature/stupid things funny while she likes the witty things. I definitely just laugh about everything. She´s a wet blanket. She´s also crazy disobedient. No respect for rules. Between meals and class she takes naps. She is always late. She bugs. No my hands are not sore yet [from pre-emptive shoulder rubs].

Marti Gillette and her companion H Green just became the new Sister Leadership Training peeps. I see Marti about every hour because our companions pee so much. We also went into their room so they could rap for us and tonight we have to return the favor. We spend a lot of time talking to each other actually. Love them!

kdthunborg@gmail.com is Hermana Thunborgs mom´s email and she has pictures that she can send you if you request them. The computers are sooooo slow so the uploading thing is just not good. Sorry!

I love you all very much! I am thinking of you and I am grateful for the letters. It makes the day so much better!

Oh, here is a talk I wrote on Faith for sacrament meeting:

Fe es tener esperanza en lo que no se ve pero que es verdadero. En Alma 32:21 este dice: (you´ll have to read it). Fe es muy importante. La fe en Jesucristo es el primer principio del Evangelio. La fe nos da el deseo de seguir a Cristo y guardar los mandamientos. La fe nos auyda a enfrentar los desafios de la vida y superar. Mi escritura favorita es en Mateo 17:20. Cuando tenia 7 años, tuve collar con este excritura y un grano de mostaza. La semilla es muy pequeño pero arbol mostaza es muy muy grande. Como el grano de mostaza, nuestro fe puede crecer muy grande medio estudiar y oracion. Mi fe es aun brote pero yo se que mi mision fortelacera mi fe porque nada es imposible con Dios. Nada. Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial y nos ama. Yo se que Él escucha y contesta nuestras oracíones Él quiere que oremos a Él asi Él puede ayudamos. Dios quere ayudar nos. Dios quere suceder. Tiene fe en este conocimiento. Tiene fe que mi fe crecer. En el nombre de Jesucristo, amen.

It´s not super great…but I´m sure you can get the idea.

Have a lovely week! I´ll talk to you soon!

Hermana Durham

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