Monday, June 24, 2013

The work is hard and the work is wonderful and I am so tired every day!

June 24, 2013

So first of all, I should tell you that my mission call lied to me. I am NOT in the California, Riverside mission. I am in the California REDLANDS mission!!!! (woo hoo and other exclamations of joy) 

ALSO, i am basically called all over the world, because in my mission there is a Mississippi street, Ohio street, Texas street, New York street, Tennessee street etc. There's even a "Berkeley Street" that I feel very rebellious driving down because that's the street I live on in Utah.  

The mission field has been an adventure, even in the less-than-a-week that I've been here. For example, 99% of people here have dogs. No. let me rephrase that. 99% of people here have vicious, muscular, angry, slobbering, killers of fury that consider you at a threat level equal to that of an atomic bomb. Even the Chihuahuas are frightening with their yap-yap-yap-yap-yapping and surprisingly sharp teeth. It's pretty impressive for a dog that reaches mid-calf. 

Also, guess what we have in our car? (I will now give you some time to think)
.*Cricket Cricket* 
...........Yes! the Awkward silence was correct, we have a cricket living in our car! I have NO idea where it is (we have searched EVERYWHERE) and no idea how it survives. It's been at least five days, and I always think it's dead but lo and behold, at about 8 o'clock it starts chirping away. What do cricket's eat, anyway? Because I can't think of anything that we've tracked in except dirt for it to eat, and that seems like a miserable diet.

someone must google this for me. 

---insert of unexpected funny experience--

So while I was writing this email, someone on the computer next to me asked what company we were from (you know, because of our nametags) usually, we try not to talk to people in stores or things like that because they get annoyed and the store gets frustrated with the church. If they ask however, we obviously answer and ask them if we can come over to their house. Well, I told her we were from the Church and would she like a blessing on her home etc. and she politely took our card and everyone on this table slooooowly packed up all of their things and moved to other tables. Hahahahaha! I must remember that if I ever want privacy when I get home, I should Just wear my name tag out. Just kidding.  

Anyways, the field really is white. We found a family that I ADORE! The parents names are Sonya and Francisco, and they are incredible. I'm considering marrying into their family just to have them as in-laws (well......maybe neighbors would suffice) But their family truly is amazing. We have other investigators as well, but Sonya and Francisco are just good-to-the-core-people. and so FUN! Sonya helps me when I struggle with the Spanish (a.k.a every sentence I say) and Francisco is so gentle and humble. Their kids have the same light about them. Theirs is a home of love. 

In conclusion (sorry, I learned never to end a paper with "in conclusion" probably 78 times between second grade and high school.) The work is hard, the work is wonderful, and I am so tired every day that I literally fell asleep on the toilet two days ago. (embarrassing!)

Write me!!!!!!!!!!!!! you can use the riverside address previously posted on my blog, or my apartment address right now is 

1400 Barton Rd. Apt 1613
Redlands, CA 923373 

but seriously. letters make me die with delight. 

Hermana Thomas   

Hermana Bates (out six weeks), Hermana Thomas, Hermana Woller  (training both)

Hope in the MTC

Hope was spotted by her friend Cecily Palmer at the Redland's Stake Center during the World Wide Missionary Broadcast! Hope's Spanish Branch attended with all the English speaking wards.

Friday, June 14, 2013

So. Can you believe it? I'm off to California

June 14, 2013

raise your hand if you live in perpetual tiredness.

aha! Those of you who raised your hands are all mentiras! (liars) If you truly lived in the same kind of perpetual tiredness that I am living, you wouldn't have the energy to support the weight of your head, let alone raise your hand.  

So I've discovered that when people say you "really grow up" on a mission, they literally mean "get old" --I feel like i'm about to turn 95. i'm always tired, my back hurts, I eat oatmeal and cracked wheat for breakfast, and I have recently discovered how much i love love love puzzles (oh the horror!!) It won't be long before I'm guzzling my daily prune juice, and telling those hooligans to stay off my lawn!

I kid, but in all seriousness the only time I am not totally and completely tempted to lie down on the floor for a quick snooze, is when I'm supposed to be in bed. It's funny how that works.     

So. Can you believe it? I'm off to California in (counts on fingers out of think I'm kidding) 3 days! Bright and early Tuesday morning, well, not so much bright as the sun will not yet be up, I leave the MTC at 4:30am with 29 other california-going-missionaries. And no, none of them is Riverside Spanish Speaking :(.

I'm very excited so please read the rest of my mission posts with very exaggerated voice inflictions. plenty of exclamations points as well. I don't have enough energy to type them all out.

In other news, I got a present yesterday. i got to receive an overdue tetanus shot (surprise!) Don't worry. I'm milking it for all it's worth. I'm wearing short sleeves so that everyone can see my Snoopy Band-Aid and feel sorry for poor little hermana Thomas.

Well. It's been real. it's been fun. it's been Provo. See you in the sol, sister!  


Friday, June 7, 2013

Why simply endure life when you can enjoy every moment of it?

June 7, 2013


So you are officially reading the blog of the MTC's District 12C Jello slurp champion! (when you're here this long and have such a similar schedule every day, you come up with some veeeeery creative ways of mixing it up.)

So the Jello slurp goes like this:

Once a week the cafeteria (in true mormon fashion) serves red Jello in those plastic cups that most people use for parties, and the elite-ly frugal use for wedding receptions. You cut out the jello in one big molded clump, and set it upside down on the tray. THEN, you hold back your hair, blow all the air out of your lungs, and try to inhale the entire slab of jello with one gigantic shluuuuurp.

As I am writing this it occurs to me how juvenile this sounds, and in the real world, this may be so. But here in MTC land, you are literally studying for almost every single hour from 6:30-9:30. After a certain point, your brain just reverts back to a second grade level whenever you have a free moment (ex: dinnertime)

anyways. however feeble of an accomplishment this may sound, I was officially the only one who completed the challenge, and have earned the respect of every elder in my district.

Life is an adventure here. It definitely takes a lot of discipline, but I am always learning and growing at a pace that puts miracle-gro to shame. I have birthed a new self-motto that occurred to me while I was having trouble sitting in a teeeeeeeeeeeeeny classroom for 3+ hours at a time. The missionary purpose is

"invitar a las personas a vinir al Cristo, al ayudarlas que reciben el evangelio resturado mediente la fe in Jesucristo y su expiacion, el arrepentamiento, el bautismo, la recepcion del don del Espiritu Santo, y el perservarar hasta al fin."

.....yeah sorry, I only have it memorized in Spanish. But the last part is "endure to the end." ---I've always heard that phrase, and It has seemed so bleak and dismal to me. Like life is a drudgery. so While I was studying, the thought hit me "don't endure to the end, ENJOY to the end."

As soon as it came into my mind I knew that this is what i need to learn how to do in my life. Why simply endure life when you can enjoy every moment of it? I've really been trying to do that this week, and It's definitely made me happier. 

On a weirder note, I have OFFICIALLY been in the MTC for a Month! That means that my mission is no longer 18 months, it's 17! Mind. Bended. I get my travel plans today, and in less than two weeks I'm jetted off to sunny So Cal! I'm excited to fly because I figure the plane can't crash while there's a missionary on it.

I love you, I adore you, I don't miss you but that's just because my mind is occupied with Spanish and the gospel 90% of the time, and the other 8 % of the time I can't even think because the fire alarm when off while I was in the shower, and it echoed so loud that my ears almost bled. Seriously though. The shower is the one place where it should be softer, i're surrounded by water! Still recovering but just in case, mom, dad, look into getting me a handicap-parking permit.

love you!
Hermana Thomas

Saturday, June 1, 2013

My brain is officially in mish-mode

May 31, 2013

Hola hola fam and Ameegs! (my little shortcut for Amigos)

So I am officially fluent.

in spanglish. Heavy on the GLISH.

but seriously. I am thinking and talking in spanish so much that I'm questioning my current fluency in english.  This is especially sad because I don't actually know that much Spanish either. Basically I can understand the words El evangelio, Las Escrituras, El Helado, or Hermana.

Speaking of "hermana," there is a strong possibility that I may be going through an identity crisis. I get called so many different things during the day that I'm getting suspicious. My current theory is that I'm in the spanish witness protection program and no one has told me.
things people call me:

My Companion-----------------Hermana
My Teachers--------------------Hermana Thomas
The Elders in my district--------Seester Thomas
People who don't know me but want to get my attention---------Hey, You! Sister!
People who knew me in my pervious Thomas!
People who read my nametag really fast because they forgot my name--------Sister Thomson
People who write me letters-------------------Esperanza/Hope/Sis Thomas/Sista
I don't even know who I am anymore.

Speaking of identity crisises, can we all agree that Mr. Mac and Downeast are making BANK off this new missionary age change? Every girl I see here has the same three skirts, which happen to be the same three skirts I have.  I just know that the owners of Downeast and Mr. Mac are on some island somewhere sipping non-alcoholic pina coladas, and toasting to the generation of 94ers and 95ers.

In other news, my subconscious has finally accepted the fact that I'm on a mission. For the first couple of weeks here I would always dream about being home, or at BYU, and when I woke up, it was hard to adjust back to the MTC vida. (life) But This week I had a dream that I was in the MTC (granted it was a dream about being sent home,  but we can all ignore that) and I take that as a sign that my brain is officially in mish-mode.

It's a blast here though. I really have grown to love the MTC, despite all of its quirkiness. sometimes you have to just laugh because things are so ridiculous, and accept that it's not perfect, but that the gosple is. I am truly converted over and over again every day. The continuous spirit here is so strong that it's exhausting. I feel like smiling and singing all the time. well......97.8% of the time. The other 2.2% I'm deciding between day-old fried chicken, and cold chicken "enchiladas" (I don't think the kitchen really knows what an enchilada is.)

Well. Hasta luego mis amores! As always, If you write me I will do a triple-twisty-turn-365 degree-half-gainer-backflip.......which is really difficult in a skirt. (and also probably not allowed so I'll probably just smile and read it 87 times instead.)

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo (can you tell I'm feeling a little hug deprived?)

-Hermana thomas

Mom addition: These photos were snapped by friends who serendipitously caught Hope and her companion in the act of being missionaries this past week and then kindly sent them along to her fam fans!