I found some American stamps, so I can write you a letter. Last week was a huge turning point for me. I stopped focusing on everything I was doing wrong and that I wasn't good at and focused instead on what I am doing here - building the Lord's Kingdom. I am starting to become ever so slightly in tune with the Spirit, and it is amazing. I don't know if I told you this little story, but one day a thought came to me 'look for the scripture in D&C that talks about witnessing about the gospel two by two.' So I started looking for it, but when I couldn't find it right away, I moved on to other things. Later that day, in a lesson, the guy asked, "Why are missionaries always in groups of 2 or 3?" So while Hermana Norton tried to answer it, I tried looking up the scripture again, and could not find it. I felt like such a fool, but now I am trying to be super sensitive to any feeling I get.
I started reading the Book of Mormon in Provo and I just finished it! (With the exception of the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi - I still need to figure those out.) I am surprised by how much I love reading that book and especially how I can apply it to my life - at home it was such a burden to read. Hermana Norton and I constantly stop each other while studying and talk about awesome things that we find, and then our elders get into the discussion. If my Sunday School classes could have been that effortless and rewarding, I would have loved that calling - I guess I still kind of loved it anyway.
I feel like just in the few short months I have been out here I have grown and learned a lot. I keep finding amazing things I could have used in my farewell talk and I can't help but think how immature and unknowlegable I was back then. Mom, I am like really mature.
Okay, that is not completely true. Here at the CCM, they serve soft serve ice cream at some meals and the same cute, short Latino worker always serves it up and he is a huge flirt. Well, this short Latino likes Hermana Norton and me and always gives us huge ice cream cones and all the elders get jealous. So lately, it has been a competition between us and the elders to see who could flirt their way to the most ice cream - and some of the elders stoop so low. But, in the end, Hermana Norton and I always sweet talk our way to victory. When I get home, we can go to Coldstone and I'll show you how it is done!
I love the new Latina girls in my room. They are so diligent. They wake up at 5:30 every morning to study and get ready. And they are big on making sure the light is out at 10:30 which I love since I am so tired every night. They are hilarious. One day I had a bunch of gel in my hair so it was really stiff and one of the Latinas, Hermana Bendon, came up to me and told me that my hair was too dry and that I needed to leave my conditioner on it for 5 minutes in the shower.... ever since she tells me how lovely my hair is.... I guess I won't be putting get in my hair the rest of the time in the CCM, I don't want another lecture.
The other day we were talking with our elders (our elders = our district) and we were saying that serving for only 18 months or 2 years is too short, and time is flying by too fast, and we are going to be home before we know it.
June 24, 2012 So, today is Sunday and you know how in Provo we had to prepare a talk and they randomly called people to give their talks? Well, they do that here, and, of course, they called on me. But this experience was such a different one than the one in Provo. I actually wrote a talk rather than copying it out of Preach My Gospel. And even though I felt it was coming - them asking me to speak - I wasn't freaking out. I was actually happy for the opportunity, even though I probably sounded like a fool. My companions still haven't given talks yet. It is nice to have opportunities like this to be able to see just how far I have come because sometimes I feel like I am making no progress. The man who called on me to speak, President Aleson, knows how hard the language has been for me, and when he called my name, he looked over at me to gage my reaction. I am glad I can have a sense of humor about my shortcomings, or this whole experience would break me.
I got my first mission haircut - even though I could not communicate what I wanted, and a teacher, who is a punk, told the lady to cut it up to my chin. It looks good - it was just a trim.
Yesterday was suppose to be another day teaching in Rimac. In the morning and during personal study, I had a strong feeling that Hermana Norton and I would not be going. We went throughout the morning, we were supposed to leave at two o'clock to Rimac, and Hermana Norton, who had been having a little pain in her head since Wednesday, felt she needed to see the doctor and in the end, we were unable to go. I love the gift of the Holy Ghost. If I could only take one thing away from my mission, it would be the importance of the Holy Ghost and how much it could bless our lives if we allow it.
I am really thankful for all the opportunities I have right now. So far I love this experience a lot and there is nothing else I would rather be doing.
I love you all,
Hermana Stacia Ellis