Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hi family and friends!

This week was another great one! I just love my mission so much. Still trying to adjust...I've been pretty sick this week as my stomach tries to adjust to all this food, but learned that it's not about me so i just need to push through it and think of others.

First of all...Bednar! It was seriously incredible to hear from him! There are only 100 missionaries here at the CCM so we got to shake his hand after. He talked for a little bit, but most of the time was spent talking about teaching with the spirit and then towards the end he did a question and answer and it was awesome. My companion asked "How can we completely forget ourselves and think of others?" He had his wife talk about serving as a mother, and I was bawling in the first row... (Oh yeah...I sat in the front row so they were smiling at me whenever I started crying) hahaha. FINALLY MY TEARS ARE GETTING ME SOMEWHERE.  Towards the end he asked all the missionaries, "How has the way we've talked today been more effective teaching you than if I were to just stand here and speak for 4 hours?" (Yes...It was really 4 hours. We were all starving by the end. Ha) I had a thought come into my mind...so I raised my hand, and when I stood up...the thought I was thinking didn't come out, but I started talking about how much teaching with the spirit can help teach your investigators and when I sat down realized that whatever I said was way better than what I was thinking. Ha. Plus...Elder Bendar said, "Great insight Sister Stone...that's wonderful" So...I'll never forget that. haha.

For tonight's devotional I got some elders and sisters to sing the song "If any of you lack wisdom" that we sang in an upstage fireside.  It sounds so good. So we'll be doing that for our musical number at the devotional tonight. Sometimes people will come find me during free time and just ask me to play the piano so they can hear music...and of course I am super excited to do that! I'm so glad I brought all that music Mom!

One big thing that has happened this week was that we had a chocolate fountain at dinner!!! It was SO good. Todos Norte Americanos were SO excited. We were dipping bread, peanuts, oranges...pretty much everything you can imagine. We started getting a little carried away when we got the mugs from breakfast and filled them up and started DRINKING the chocolate. It's quite the delicacy here. Hahaha. The cook stood up and said, "Norte Americanos...no mas chocolate." HAHA. It was so good though.

Today is P day so we get to go to the temple in about an hour. I'm so excited! I've been making a list of temples I want to visit before I die, and today I get to cross one off. It's going to be so cool...especially because the end of the session is in Spanish. It'll be interesting.
Last P day we went out onto the street and got the shop, and walk around...it was so cool. We bought tons of super unhealthy cheap candy, and we eat all day during class and our teachers always ask for some. It's so funny. PLUS. Oh my goodness...the churros here are unreal. They are basically fried bread with carmel in the middle...you get them from the street vendors and they're equivalent to like..50 cents in the US. We talk about them in class and drool thinking about them. Ha.

OH! I forgot to tell you the biggest thing. So...they called all the Norte Americanos leaving next week, and told us that we're actually leaving on Sunday morning early instead of Wednesday because Bednar is still in town and he is having a conference with all the mission presidents in the area, and they need to get us to our missions before they presidents leave for the conference. Can you believe that? I leave the CCM in 5 days. We're all freaking out...and can't really focus anymore. haha.
Another thing that is pretty funny is that one of my teachers Hermano Espanosa is JOEY from friends. Like...exactly...but Latino. haha. It's so awesome. It's gotten to the point where I can't talk to him without laughing...which is probably why he thinks I'm so happy all the time. He looks, talks, and acts exactly like him. And also...while I'm on the topic of friends...does anyone remember the episode where Rachel and Phoebe go running together and Phoebe runs super weird so Rachel tries to get out of running with her? Well...my old companion Hermana Schoppmann runs EXACTLY like that. It's SO cute. I miss her so much! No one else from our district in Provo has gotten Visa's yet...and since we're leaving so soon, it probably wouldn't be worth it if they did get them to send them to la CCM.

Something cool that happened this week was that Hermana Harmon and I asked if we could get blessings from the Elders in our district before we left for our missions so they gave us blessings on Sunday night. They decided that they all want them after ours so I'm glad I said something. The Elder that I asked to give my blessing did such an incredible job. It was awesome. He said things in the blessing that I've been thinking about but never said to my district, and I was just so amazed at how in tune with the spirit he was. I wrote down some things that I liked from the blessing as soon as it was done so I could remember them. One thing that I'll just share with you that he said was this. He said, "Carli, these next 18 months will be some of the most difficult in your life, but will bring you so much joy.  When you look back on your mission, you will always remember it as a wonderful time and decision that you made. Because of your mission you will gain experiences that you will share with your children, and those experiences will strengthen THEIR testimonies!" It was so cool...especially because I've felt in the last few weeks that this mission is NOT for me...or even for the people that I teach, but is for my children...and without ever saying anything to anyone about that he just confirmed that to me. It was so cool. I love the Priesthood so much. Thanks for being worthy to give blessings Chandler, Dad and Marcus because women appreciate it so much. As soon as we said we wanted blessings the Elders stood up, put their coats on and it was like they were new men.

I'm so grateful for the things I've learned here already. I can't believe how fast time is going...and it will only get faster.
Sounds like things are going good at home. Jealous that Chandler got to go to Vegas. That was one of my favorite memories ever! I've actually been thinking a ton about that this week remembering that you would be there! You'll have to take me along again for mommy daughter time when I get home! :)

The Elders and Hermanas here are so awesome. We all get along so well! I love every one of them...except one that made fun of me the other day...but I prayed for Charity and to just love him, and the next day it was all okay and he was nice to me again. Haha. 
I think I'm losing my sense of humor cause in class I tried to make a witty comment and it took a good 2 minutes to get out in English and then everyone sat there in silence as I laughed at myself and one elder said, "Was that a joke? Whatever that was, it just took my brain to a place it's never been before" hahaha. Oh no...the spanish is throwing me off.
BTW...I'm still bad at Spanish. I wrote Chandler a letter and the end was in Spanish...and when I went to re-read it I realized that it made almost no sense. Haha...Oh well.
Love you all!
Go ahead and start writing me letters to my mission...I'll be there before you know it!
Talk to you soon! xoxoxo
Hermana Carli Stone

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