Sunday, July 29, 2012

2nd and Last letter from MTC

Well, it has been an eventful week. On Thursday, Hermana Iroz and I got called down to the office to receive our new schedules, mailbox addresses, room numbers, etc. She got moved up to the intermediate class and I got moved up to the advanced class. So now I'm leaving for Chile this Tuesday, the 31st! So, that night we had to move all our stuff to our new rooms and go to our new classes.
I am now part of a trio. My new companions are Hermana Alvarez from Colombia and Hermana Garza fro Mexico, and we share a room with Hermana de Leon and Hermana Barrett. They are all really nice and we're all going to different places. Hermana Barrett's going to Texas, Hermana de Leon is going to California, Hermana Garza is going to Nicaragua, and Hermana Alvarez to Chicago.
In my new class we speak only Spanish, and we don't do any grammar or vocab study; we're only learning how to teach. Needless to say, I felt really behind and really inadequate when I first started. But it's getting easier. My companions assure me that my Spanish is fine.
We have 5 Elders in our district. Elder Riches and Elder Jesperson, Elder Townsend, Elder Ricks and Elder Wein. Elder Wein is going to the same mission as me and he is AMAZING! He only joined the church a couple of years ago and was orignially Jewish, but man, he knows the scriptures backwards and forwards. He is going to be an amazing missionary. I think all the elders are going to Chile, but Elder Wein is the only one going to the same area as me. And they're all hilarious! They love imitating people and talk in the Nacho Libre voice a lot. It's so funny!
Saturday night was a little scary. Both Hermana de Leon and Hermana Barrett had not been feeling well, for different reasons, but that night Hermana de Leon couldn't keep anything down; she was even throwing up water. It took a little while, but we finally got someone to take her to the hospital. Both sisters are doing better now, and we found out, after some tests that Hermana de Leon has siliac(?), so she can't have gluten.
Let's see, what else... Our district zone leader looks like Woody from Toy Story, and another Elder looks like Syndrome from the Incredibles. I'm now in the same district as Hermana Ellsworth who I knew at ASU. She's going to the New York, New York South Mission Spanish speaking. I also see Elder Hansen around a lot who I also knew at ASU; he's going to Costa Rica. And the other day I ran into Hermana Duchene who I knew at ASU as a freshman. She's wasn't a member then, but then she transferred to BYU, and now she's serving a mission! It was so exciting to see her.
Hermana Alvarez is studying physical therapy at BYU, so she's like our own personal trainer, leadin us in all these different exercises for our legs, arms, and abs, so I'm now getting a total body workout practically everyday.
The other day we had in-field orientation, which was bascially a bunch of lectures and workshops about how to be a successful missionary out in the field. It was amazing! I am so pumped now. Key things I got out of the lecture was that we have to keep our expectations high to be more effective, give it our all be exactly obedient, and always exercise faith. We have an amazing message to share with the world! That Jesus Christ has restored is full gospel on the earth today and has provided a way that we may return to him. I know this gosepl is true, and I can't wait to share it with the people of Chile!
P.S. You should now be sending your DearElder letters to Chile. I won't be getting them at the MTC anymore. Thank you to those who have written me so far. I'll be writing you letters back today!

PPS ( From Hermana Mercado's Mom! ) Now that Sara is in Chile- really easy, free way to write to her- keep Using!!!    All you have to do is click "write a letter"  Put in Hermana Sara Mercado and click "Chile, Santiago West Mission"   Write your letter and press send.  Since her mission is a "Pouch" mission, they will put your letter, addressed to her, in the pouch that goes to her mission and you don't have to pay for postage or anything.  The pouch goes out once a week- first thing Monday morning, so the deadline to get a letter into the pouch is always midnight Sunday!  Happy writing!  I know Sister Mercado would love to hear from you!! :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sister Mercado's first letter from the MTC!

AHH!!! I don´´t even know where to begin! So much has happened and I only have half an hour to write it all in. I guess I´ll start out by saying that the MTC is amazing! My days are basically filled with studying, eating, teaching, and more studying. It was pretty nerve racking the first time we had to teach an ¨investigator´´. We just got in last Wednesday and we had to teach our first investigator on Friday, completely in Spanish! It was rough, but we got through it. And our lessons since then have been improving. My companion´s name is Hermana Iroz and she is from Las Vegas studying Neuroscience at BYU. Practically everyone in our district besides Hermana Iroz, Elder Ellswoth and I are from Utah. Elder Ellsworth is from Colorado.
Anyway, in total we have 10 people in our district, all learning Spanish and all either going to Chile or Costa Rica. We have Hermana Iroz and myself, Hermana Carter and Hermana Jones, Elder Hartvigsen, Elder Smoot, Elder Ellsworth, Elder Bergesen, Elder McBride, and Elder Langford. Even though it has only been a week, we have all become close and I love them all! The Hermanas are so fun to be with and the Elders are hilarious! If the Hermanas were just by ourselves we would definitely take ourselves too seriously. The Elders help us to loosen up.
Anyway, we are a beginner class, which means that we will be staying in the MTC for 9 weeks. However, ever since I´ve been in the MTC, it´s amazing how much Spanish has been coming back to me. When I talk to my Abuela in Arizona, I feel like I know nothing, but here words I didn´t even knew I remembered have been coming back to me. And our motto´´Hablar Su Idioma¨ (speak your language) has helped a lot we. We speak all the Spanish that we can all the time, so we speak a lot of Spnaglish. Anyway, my teacher Hermano Williams noticed that I speak kind of a lot more Spanish that the rest our district, so he recommended I take a test to see if I could be moved up to a more advanced class. I did and I was recommended to either transfer to an intermediate or an advanced class. Anyway, the head Spanish guy came to see me yesterday and told me that he would be recommending me to be moved to an advanced class, which means that I will be leaving the MTC in a week and a half! I am freaking out!
I´m really nervous because I´ll probably be at the bottom of the class in advanced, and I´m sad I´ll be leaving my district, but I´m also excited to get on out there. AH!!! So many things! I´ll try to give more details next time!  And if you want to send some love my way, write me on Dear! It´s free and I get it the next day! Oh! And if you sent me a letter a few days ago I migh not be getting it for a little while. Our district leader accidentally remailed our letters that we got yesterday. It´s a funny story, but there´s not ime for that. Love you all!!!
-- Hermana Mercado

Sunday, July 1, 2012

And so it begins...

This is the first time I have created a blog, so I guess I'll just start out simply. My name is Sara Mercado and starting July 11th, I will be serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Chile Santiago West Mission. Basically, the purpose of this blog is to keep the world updated on my mission adventures. I hope to share many inspirational stories, what I learn, and how I grow.

I have been looking forward to serving a mission my entire life, and now the moment is finally here. I cannot wait to serve the Lord and to share what I know with all the people that I meet in Chile. To put it simply, I know that this gospel is true. I know that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father love each and every one of us, and that through the redeeming power of Christ's atonement, we can all be forgiven of our sins and return to live with Him. This knowledge gives me hope, and I think that is something everyone could use more of. And so begins my quest, to spread the hope and the love :)