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 dearelder.com!!! 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!! :)