So we got an email from Tori today. We were not sure what day of the week she would have computer time and so literally I have been checking my email every hour of everyday this week. Clean some teeth, wipe down the room, check the email, repeat every hour. So happiness is when on Thursday at 12:30 there is something in my inbox besides a Bed Bath and Beyond Coupon and pinterest suggestions. Here is the email. I have edited the spelling slightly because apparently they have different keyboards, no auto correct, you get the picture….
“Oh my. Where do I start? I FINALLY get to email. I have a week and two days full of stories. Yikes! Hopefully I get everything across and keep it somewhat organized. Well to start I want to say I have one amazing family. Jay the Open When… Letters are absolutely precious. And mom, you surprised me as well. Cam, what the heck, you had me bawling like a baby. And dad thanks for that inspiring email. Ahhh, love you all. Okay I think I am going to call this email MTC Mayhem and Busy Week Blues.
Okay so let’s start at the airport. I got there safe and sound. Ready for awkward story number uno? All the missionaries were together and we were going over to our buses, I was leading and there were about a good ten elders behind me. We had to go up this escalator thing that was slanted upward. So right when I got on all my luggage was leaning up against me. So I was freaking out about getting off the escalator slidy thing. Of course, me, myself, and I could not get it to work. My bags were three times my weight and I had mad blisters. Oh and the wheels on the purple bag don’t really work. So my bag gets stuck and we are all still moving upward so I create a jam. All the missionaries behind me fall over and the one behind me was freaking out about touching me. Really, scared of girls already? Ha ha! So ya I created a complete jam, had to go all ninja and unlady like and leap over my bags to get on the ground and pull my bags out. I am making friends mom.
Oh and like I said I had an intense first missionary experience in Dallas, wow. What a good time. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. I’m realizing how preachy I am. Like hands in the air, hallelujah, you name it. I am just full of the Spirit and wanting to talk to everyone I see. I don’t look at people as strangers anymore, I look at them as children of God. I am loving it. Anyways so this guy came up to me, he was flirting, and it was awkward. I was like, please stop touching my arm. Ha ha! He told me how to get cheap alcohol because he works at customs. Anyways I said, thanks so much for the great tips but I actually don’t drink. That’s how we got on the topic of church and religion. The topic of the conversation was he said, how do you believe in a God, when millions of people have suffered and died. He talked about slavery, holocaust, etc. I had a lot of good stuff to say. I really don’t have time to type it all out. But it was a great discussion.
HELLLLLO MEXICO. This place is amazing. So we get on the bus, and wow. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed so hard. The driving here is insane! It reminded me of Fast and Furious and the Knight bus from Harry Potter. I swear the bus was in whatever lane it desired. I thought to myself, the only person I know who could handle this craziness is my own mother, Shout out to you mamacita. So I get to the MTC or CCM. And it’s great. It’s its own little community. Sometimes I step back and think is this not weird that there are a bunch of white people in the middle of Mexico City trying to learn Spanish? Like what’s going on? But it’s great. I was so excited to meet my companion, but she never came during the day! I didn’t realize that I was breaking rules by being alone and not staying with other girls, I was just doing my own thing. Ha ha! Ate food, went to my room, organized my stuff. Eventually she came though, her flight was delayed. Her name is Hermana Nelson! She’s from Colorado. In our room there are two latino sisters as well. They are so dang cute! I love talking with them. What amazing testimonies they have. I thought I broke my toe, but it’s just pretty bruised. The pavements here are not even and I stubbed my toes. Bathrooms are nice, Yes mom I am drinking filtered water. Totally eating ALL the food. Praise the Lord for an iron stomach! All the girls around me are sick and have nasty nast diarrhea, but I’m like pass the beans. I made it a goal to eat everything. Wait scratch that DON’T EAT THE HOTDOGS. Cousin Shoutout to Meg, Jess, and Mandy. I wish you guys were here with me! I love you Mexico cousins, you! Just again, don’t eat the “hot dogs”. Oh and Jess they have powdered donuts at the tiennda. Love you guys. Also some advice, this has literally been the most trying week in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but remember I am learning a completely new language and only have six weeks. I see the Lord’s hand in my life and I see progression, but the first week is tough. It really really is. For me it’s hard because I know exactly how to teach the gospel, I have an unwavering testimony, I know about the gospel, and I know it’s true, I just can’t say it. It’s frustrating, but worth it. Read Ether 12: 6 and 27. Also, try learning the basics before you come. How to say your name, age, ask how you are, etc. I have literally started from the bottom. Queso. That’s my word. I am the only one in my class who didn’t take any Spanish. Just remember, never to compare yourself to others and don’t be discouraged. The Lord has placed you with the call you have because he knows that you can do it. He knows the people of where you are going and he knows that they need YOU. Just take advantage of the fact that the next 18 months you are only focusing on the Lord, His Gospel, and learning Spanish. No other worries. It’s beautiful. Here at the CCM, we live on higher ground. The Spirit is so strong and I have never felt so pumped up in my life. I can’t stop smiling and saying hola!
My District is awesome! Hermana Hirschi, oh man. She’s my fav. I think it’s because she reminds me SOOOO much of Trudy. Shout out to Trudy, I love ya! We are very similar in personalities and she has become such a close friend of mine. Our district is 4 girls and like 8 boys. They are all 18 year old boys so it’s hard for them to sit down and focus, but they keep it fun. It will be interesting to see them mature through the mission. And they all have girlfriends. Like if you open their bibles there are pictures of their girls. And they are all creepishly young, because these boys are fresh out of high school. I’m like is that your little sister? Yikes. But seriously, best district way too much fun! And the teachers are fabulouso! It’s crazy because they only speak Spanish. A little English, but in the class we leave Anglais behind. I have truly felt the Spirit as my teacher. It was a rough week, but looking back now I see I have TOTALLY improved. Like I can say what my name is and where I live. Oh funny story. So obviously I am new to Spanish, so here are some embarrassing things I have said this week:
In Spanish I was going around saying “in my family I have a mom, a potato, two brothers, and a dog”. Sorry dad papa is the same word for dad and potato I just wasn’t adding the accent at the end to make it dad. So I have gotten weird looks when I explain my family.
Note to self; stop getting creative with your spanish. The word embarazada is not embarrassing. It’s pregnant. There I was saying in class, I am muy embarazada right now! Muy! Muy! Oh my. Why. Why me.
Fun fact; I can count to 39.
The vending machine ohh the struggle. I wanted these cookies called Chokis right. Well the vending machine wasn’t taking my dang pesos. So in frustration I walked away and yelled, “I JUST WANT SOME CHICOS! I JUST LOVE CHICOS!” Oops, chokis not chicos. We were by some elders too, aca-awkward.
I though to myself would cray cray in spanish be loc loc?
YOLO is now YOSO (you only serve once)
Okay, President Pratt what a stud. I love him. So here’s awkward story number two. So to start President Pratt’s voice reminds me of Bain from Batman. And if you know me well, I do a great Bain impression. And he looks like the food critic in Ratatouille (didn’t think you would get away with a Disney reference did ya?).
So we had this district meeting thing. I sat right in the front. This was my first full day. That morning I had had about an hour lesson on Spanish, right? So when the meeting was over he asked the newbie beside me to offer the closing prayer. I looked over at her and saw the look of death or something. Super freaky wide eyed stare. I, just being in the moment, felt bad for her and said, “I volunteer!” Wait what. I get up, turn around to see everyone in the room, there’s a solid 200 people… Really Tori. Really. I only know a small variety of words in Spanish: queso, caliente, muscho gusto, carro. Yeah… Well here goes nothing. We had reviewed prayers a little so I knew how to start… kind of. “Umm, hola Padre Celestail…” I’ll just stop right there the rest is pure embarrassment. But hey I did it and you have to put yourself in those positions if you ever want to learn. Later that day President Pratt said, “Hermana, you will need to take off your fake eyelashes, those aren’t missionary appropriate.” Hahaha! He was being so serious. I explained to him they were real and then all these people around me were like all up in my face trying to touch them. I was like okie dokie. Haha!
So might as well quote some songs while I can. I have had a few in mind. For this week church hymns that have just made me instantely tear up and feel peace have been I Need Thee Every Hour, Abide With Me, and Come Thou Fount. I swear I hear them whenever I need them. Speaking of hymns. Everyone here whistles, it’s driving me nuts. The whistling must stop!
Okay now wordly songs. Is that what I will call them? Haha! “Brave” by Sara Barielles, “say what you want to say and let the words come out.” Holaaa, you can totally apply that to missionary work and having the faith that if you hard your hardest and strive your best, the Lord will guide you and your words.
Then “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons. Ahhhhh, fav. I keep singing that in my head. It’s like my theme song.
I am glad that in the email I was able to contain my Spanglish. I’ve got some insane Spanglish going on right now. And I have five more weeks! I am SO ready to serve the people of El Salvador, They are calling my name! I can feel it. I can’t wait to have Spanish DOWN so I can actually communicate and open Jay’s letter that says open when you can have a full conversation in Spanish.
Love you all, God is good, Church is true, the book is blue.
Dad, about your email. I thank you for it. Yes, I will be writing in my journal every night. I write at least five pages a day. It’s a good way to get my stress out. It’s weird not being able to talk to people who really know me or to just go sit in my room and listen to music to breathe a little. But I am learning.
Well hour is up, I’ll probably remember something once I log out. I’ll be sure to add more next week. Went to the temple today. Incredible. In Spanish, way cool. I am going to try pictures next week.
LOVE YOU seriously familia, amigos, you’re all amazing. Miss you a lot and I swear I have found the version of every person I know here. Sweet and tender mercies.
Hermana Tor Tor”
So this has totally made my day. So Happy that she is positive and I did possibly laugh out loud when she said she was very pregnant. That is so Tori. She once told one of her friends that her placenta was really killing her…… she was referring to her patella (knee cap). So really it just made me laugh.
Also, about the whistling. Jared and Cameron whistle a lot and it annoys her. I guess they were just preparing her for the MTC.
The scripture that she referenced is here.
If you want to write her letters you can. You can either mail them directly to Mexico and it takes about 3 weeks or you can use the pouch system. How it works is you write on a regular 8.5X11 paper on one side and then fold it into thirds, tape it down, but leave the edges open. Write your name and return address on the upper left corner and her address in the center and put a regular US stamp on it and it will get to her in approximately a week. She would love to hear from you. (This only works for 8.5X11 paper, not pictures or other size of paper). That address is
Sister Tori Ann Patterson
El Salvador San Salvador West Belize Mission
PO Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150
Just for fun, if you want to see what the Mexico MTC looks like, you can go to google maps and put this into the address line. It is the big campus with the track and sports fields.
“Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero, 07230 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico”
Don’t judge me, what was I to do while I waited all week for her email but stalk her. 🙂