Monday, July 27, 2009

Road Trips, Hermione Granger, and Raw Mushrooms

Ok this is mostly going to be an email to answer all of the questions that Mom asked me in her last email (All 30,000 of them).

First off, for the Spanish workbook thing: I'm not really quite sure what I need. Not a Spanish verb book, just a book with tons of exercises. If you can't find anything, don't fret. It's not a big deal.

Yes I got your package. Thank you SO much. We actually just barely got the chance pick it up from the post office about 10 minutes ago. We opened it up and it appears that everything is in there, so thank you so much! Sister Bustillos saw the earrings you sent (especially the Betsey Johnson ones) and just about died. So cute! Oh and yes I got Dad's letter. It was awesome. Thanks, dad!

I don't know how long I will be in Beeville. Most likely 2 or 3 transfers. You made it seem like I was exiled. That's not very fair because that's not true at all. There used to be Sister here, but they took them out for the summer because all of the dental hygiene girls went home for the summer. But they're all starting to come back, so since there are SO many that come back, it was time to bring Sister back. You said, "do you feel you're being punished for something you didn't even do?" Um, definitely not. Obviously this is the place where the Lord wants me. I'm happy I'm here. I love it here. It's a TOTAL small town, which let's be honest, never was my thing. But for missionary work, I go where the Lord calls me. He wants me here and I will serve here for as long as he wants and as hard as I possibly can. It's all English, but that's ok because the Lord called me to the Texas McAllen Mission which is a bilingual mission. All the missionaries in the north speak only English (for the most part). That's part of my call and I'm going to do my best to teach in English while I'm here. ALL the other Sisters and Elders who have been here were so jealous when they heard where I was going. Apparently, it's a pretty sweet place for those who have been here and I agree. We cover about 6-7 different cities which Beeville being the central city. We only have a car which is ABSOLUTELY necessary because it takes sometimes 20-30 minutes to just drive to appointments in the other cities.

We just had zone conference last week on Wednesday. The combined the Sinton and Corpus Christi zones (which they normally do since they are right next to each other and that way President doesn't have to do 40 different zone conference every transfer). We were the only sisters in the two zones combined. We're the only sisters in the north, which is pretty sweet if I do say so myself. Anyways, it was in Corpus and so we had to drive about an hour to get there. Also, we had first companionship training this past Friday: that's for the NEW missionaries. When they come in, after about 2 weeks of being in the field, they get another training by President and the Assistants. But that is always in the La Vista chapel in McAllen. SO...we had to drive 4 hours down to McAllen on Friday for the 3 hour training, have an hour lunch, then drive back up to Beeville. It was actually pretty fun driving because we got to really get to know each other even better. But we were so exhausted that night and carrying over into the day after. But zone conference and the training was amazing. I love any chance that I get to see and talk with President. At Zone Conference, we always play this scripture game. Where we have to memorize all the scriptures in all the lessons of Preach My Gospel (well, there are levels: Beginning (new missionaries; only covers a few basic scriptures you should now), Assistant's Challenge (where it covers about half of the scriptures), and the President's Challenge (where it has all 400-500 scriptures you need to know. We divide into our respective groups and then one of the assistants or someone will start reading from the scripture and we all have to find where it is. Pretty much, it's your classic seminary scripture chase. It's AWESOME. As you know, I'm super competitive and LOVE memorizing things. So of course, I do the President's challenge. I have the majority of the scriptures memorized (when I mean memorized, I don't mean word for word. But I do know the main idea of the scripture and then the reference). And at zone conference I totally felt like a little Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. The would start reading a random scripture and I'd know where it was and flip there as fast as I could,then point to it and stiffly throw my hand up in the air. If anyone has ever read or seen Harry Potter, than description would make sense. Lol, I love it. I'm a total Hermione.

Our apartment is really nice. We need to do some rearranging and other small projects, but as missionaries, we don't have time. We might start doing 10 minutes here and there to get it in order, because that's really all we have time for. We don't eat very much at member's houses yet. I never cook food. We only have an hour for break and I am not going to spend 30-45 minutes of it cooking something. Sister Osbourne got me on a kick of eating just raw mushrooms (haha). And I still do that here, but I eat them with Sriracha sauce which I found in the fridge here. It's this spicy hot sauce from Asia, but I like it because it reminds me of all the super pico Mexican food I ate down south. It's super spicy, but the food I ate in McAllen was spicier. But until then, it satisfies. Yeah, I make a lot of breakfast shakes, jello, mushrooms, steamed vegetable bags (you pop them in the microwave and in 4 minutes--viola! you got lunch). I don't know, my eating situation on the mission has been lame, but it's ok. I haven't gained any weight since I've been in the field. I'm kind of not eating much meat right now because I was eating SOOOOOO much in McAllen than I was getting sick a lot. Not sick sick, but sick as in, it would go through me pretty fast. Yuck. Now I know why in the Word of Wisdom is says to eat "little meat" because in that culture they do NOT live by that. But here, I eat whatever I want.

Hm...what else? I think Texas must be the home of Dairy Queen because there is one on every corner. Seriously. It's weird sometimes.

But the work is going good. I can definitely feel everyone's prayers. They help a lot. I should have been stressed last week, but I surprisingly wasn't. Thank you everyone! But I know this church is true. I know that people here do not want to listen to us, but all the slammed doors makes it worth it when we finally find that one who is ready and prepared. Like our two awesome investigators, Victor and Stephanie. They are both prepared and it's all worth it. I suffer hard things here for the Gospel's sake.

--Sister Burt

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