Monday, April 15, 2013

Hola Familia!
So the big news this week is that Hermana Procell got her visa! She got it on Friday and she flew out to the Peru MTC this morning. We got up really early this morning to help her leave so I am tired. We are happy for her but we will definitely miss her. I don't know how to be in normal companionship with only two people, it already feels like something is missing. I am really grateful that I got the opportunity to be in a trio first because I learned so much. I also think it's good preparation for having kids. We constantly found each other saying things like, "I only see one of you, where is the other one?" or "Come here, I need you to be where I can see you." I got really good at always knowing where they are out of the corner of my eye.

Me and my sack lunch today on my bed. Yep I'm on the top bunk. Happy p day!

This week I have learned more fully what my role is as a missionary. My teacher, Hermano Hopoate, is one of the greatest teachers I have probably ever had. He is Tongan and speaks five languages. He had us practice teaching this week and gently corrected us and although we got better he said he still didn't feel that we knew our purpose. At one point in the class he picked on me and said "are you willing to let me dig deep into you a little bit?" I agreed and he started to ask me deep questions about my life. He found my needs and taught me doctrine that applied to me and bore powerful testimony. Our purpose as missionaries is to first move yourself until you are eye to eye, knee to knee with the investigator. You have to come to where they are, understand their story and when you are there you can say, "Now, come with me to Gethsemane or the sacred grove and experience it for yourself. " I hope that I will be able to do that as a missionary. That is my goal.

Hermana Procell found out about her visa during dinner time and we had to go pick up her flight plans which made us a little late for class. We got there and completely forgot that we were supposed to teach Ricarda right then. At that point we panicked because we realized we had forgotten our notes of questions and scriptures we had studied to use during the lesson back in our room. We dropped to our knees and pleaded with Heavenly Father that we would have the Spirit and especially the gift of tongues to help us in our lesson. Although the beginning was a little rough, it turned out to be our best lesson yet and one of the best highlights of my week. When I needed to say something my mind was filled with what I needed to say. She was greatly touched by the lesson.

On the right is Elder Valle who was our old district leader (the one in the Mormon message) and on the other side of me is Elder Kramer our new district leader as of this week.
This week Elder Kramer was called to be our new district leader and took Elder Valle's spot. I know he will do a great job. Our Elder's in our district made friends with some Samoan Elders down the hall and have come to class with leis every day this week. :) They have been picking up a lot of Samoan along with their Spanish. They call them their "brothers" in Samoan. They are silly.

It snowed today! It's April. It should be against the law to snow in April.
My Spanish is getting better! I have been working so hard to learn how to roll my r's and pronounce words better. I was told that if I say "buttered, butter" over and over really fast I will be able to roll my r's. I do sound a ton better but I have also been driving my companions crazy. "Buttered, butter. Buttered butter. Buttered butter......." all day long. It's alright though because Hermana Johnson sings songs from the movie "Oh brother where art thou" and they get stuck in our head all day so I feel like we even ourselves out.
The mailbox. We are always at the mailbox because our room is in the building right next to it so we volunteer to drop off everyone's mail. 
Yesterday I was called to be the Sister Training Leader for my zone. President Jackman pulled Hermana Johnson and I aside and I thought it was because he was going to be assigning a new Senior companion since Hermana Procell was leaving but then he said he was calling me to this position. I know I didn't hide my shock on my face very well because he laughed and asked me if I was going to be okay with this assignment.  I am going to be working with the zone leaders and my stewardship will be over all the sisters in the zone. I am really excited to serve in this position and I know the Lord will use it as an opportunity to push me a little harder.
We heard from several awesome speakers this week! On Tuesday we heard from Gerald N. Lund for devotional who is a released general authority and an author of quite a few books. He gave one of the best talks on receiving revelation I have ever heard. I learned a lot from this talk. He taught us that the reason the Holy Ghost is a still small voice is to protect our agency. On Sunday during relief society we heard from Mary Edmonds who was in the companionship of sisters that opened up the Philippines and she is also an author of several books. She was hilarious! I laughed so hard that I cried twice in her talk. She answered questions like, "How will I ever learn the language?" and "What if my district leader is 18 going on 12?" Last night we heard from Greg Droubay who is a director of media for the church missionary department. He showed us all the insides of what is happening with technology and spreading the Gospel in many different countries. He showed us God is hastening his work and made us excited to share the gospel.

One last story from this week. We had to wake up really early to do Hermana Procell's laundry on Saturday and while we were in the laundry room we met a senior couple. We talked to the sister for about 20 minutes. We found out that this was their ninth mission and they were going to Washington D.C. She told us about many of their missions and of the good people who they had taught the gospel too in many different parts of the world. Towards the end of the conversation she started to cry and said, "We have a special place in our hearts for sister missionaries. We were taught by sister missionaries 30 years ago after we had been married for 20 years. We owe everything to those sister missionaries. Your service will bless so many lives. You never know how much good you will do." She then told us she loved us and left.

I love being a missionary. We have the greatest message in the world. I wake up every day excited to prepare to share it. I know that this is true.
Love you lots!
Hermana Rhoten

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