Week 4.5: in which Hermana Saunders experiences a touch of senior-itis

Dear family and friends,

Less than two weeks left until we fly out to Chile!! I am so ready to go! Well, “ready” is a relative term. My Spanish is still not great, although it is certainly much better than when I came in. Amazing what the Lord can do with a ready mind and hard work in 4 weeks. I’m just so excited to teach real people. I’ll probably spend much of the first couple weeks just trying to follow conversations, but I know I’ll learn.

Does it count as speaking in tongues if I just mash English, Spanish, and French? If I had a dollar for every time I said, “Wait, that’s French” over the past few weeks, I’d be a very rich hermana. I’ve gotten better though, and my teacher said that I have a pretty good accent. I love learning the language, and I’m excited to learn more.

Hermana Clark plays the violin, which you can check out at the infirmary, so we’ve been working on some duets for fun. We wanted to play for sacrament one week, but we probably won’t have time now. I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to learn new music and to do duets, which I’ve never done before. We’re trying to figure out a piano, violin, and vocal arrangement of “Be Still My Soul” for our district’s final Sunday. It’s been an interesting adventure but a fun one. I am grateful for what musical skill and talent I have. I’ve been able to help in a number of ways here, and I know I’ll have more opportunities to help in the future. Music is truly a blessing.

To future CCM missionaries: BRING LOTION with you. I’ve gone through half of a big bottle of lotion and finished a smaller bottle in 4.5 weeks. We wash our hands all the time here, so my hands are starting to dry out. But hey! I haven’t gotten really sick yet, so something’s working!

Somehow we got on the topic of ice breakers and pick-up lines in the casa the other day. Hermana Clark shared, “I’d say “God bless you, but it looks like he already has.” Hermana Talbert shared a great one: “How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice. Hi, I’m Hermana Talbert.” 😀 I think I might use that one day. Also, I have been blessed with really great roommates. Hermana T is hilarious and so sassy. I can’t brush my teeth while she’s talking because I’ll end up choking on something. (She also literally takes notes in her sleep. Well, her hand keeps moving, and she wakes up to scribbles all over her page. It’s the funniest thing.) Hermana Pew is quietly sassy and fun, and she’s really good at braiding. We all get along really well, and we have fun times.

In our lesson with “Alfredo” yesterday, we talked about the Plan of Salvation and where we go after we die. As he shared his feelings about his family, the Spirit really testified to me that what we were teaching is true. I’m grateful for the knowledge that loved ones who die before they accept Christ don’t go to hell but are taught in the spirit world. I know that my family can be together forever and that the pain and frustrations of this life are swallowed up in the redeeming and healing power of the Atonement.

OH! I found another friend from SUU! She’s in her second week now. She was supposed to go to a different MTC, but it’s great to see her here. We were in choir together at SUU, and it was fun to sing with her in the CCM choir on Tuesday.

I don’t have pictures for this week, but know that I’m still doing well and don’t look that much different. I love you all! Until next week!

Hna Saunders