Monday, August 19, 2013

"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

Hola Familia! I have very little time because we took forever doing otras cosas today. Just know that my laundry has not been done in a significantly long time. Thus is the life of a missionary.

I`ll answer your questions first: I have no idea where my address is. Nooo idea whatsoever. I know that I live in a dark alleyway, but my apartment is nice-ish. It is brand new, but there is no hot water to be found so every time I take a shower I decide that it`s time to come home but by the time I get out I just write in my journal and repent and go to bed.

I am in a trio, my trainer is Hermana F.., and she is from Texas so luckily she speaks English, which helps me stay sane. The miracle here is that the night before we got our companions (we stayed in this hotel thing for 3 days, and there was no water for those 3 days so showering has become sort of a rare thing for me) I said a specific prayer that my companion could help me a ton with my Spanish, and also be super animada and help me be animada, and also trabajar duro but have fun as well. So then when we got assigned our companions, the first thing she said to me was "I`m super animada that we`re companions! We are going to work hard and have fun!!" So I know for sure we`re supposed to be companions. My other companion is Hermana L... She is from Peru, and does not speak any English, so we don`t talk much. I`m working on that too.

My area is....interesting. I`m in major, major culture shock right now. I sent a letter today that may have erred on the negative side, but it mostly just talked about my challenges here. I`ll compart a little bit about my area though. Basically, everyone lives in apartments, so for tracting, it`s basically standing outside and yelling at windows, or whenever we find something that looks like a door we knock on it. People here drive like they are trying to kill each other. Times I have almost said swearwords while crossing the street: 5. Times I have actually said a swearword while crossing the street: 1. Times people have heard me swearing or almost swearing: Luckly 0. But I`m getting used to it. There are also dogs EVERYWHERE. You know me, I love dogs. Once I got close enough to pet one and it started growling and barking at me so that was the end of that. The area is new, so we only have 3 investigators, and they all were here before we got here. We found one guy who we were sure was going to be baptized, but it turned out he only liked talking to us because he "enjoyed the intelligent conversation." NO!!! Look, I`m not here living in survival mode in this crazy city to have nice conversations with people. I`m here to bear testimony and bring people unto Christ because I know the gospel will make their lives happier. That is essentially what I told him.

No issues with the altitude. We have to exercise at 6:30 every morning though, which is not my favorite time of day to exercise but it wakes me up. My companions both love running, but I told them my asthma would kill me if I ran at this altitude, which is true. Running is the only problem I`ve had with the altitude. When I played soccer in the MTC and sprinted a lot, that was why I got sick and it was the worst. So....I try to take it easy. Walking all day isn`t a problem though, and after the mission my legs are going to look like a man.

The food is....interesting. Basically I`ve been here for one week, and twice I`ve woken up in the middle of the night with the worst stomach pain known to man. Remember the time I had to go to the hospital cuz I had that bad stomach pain? It`s basically like that type of painful, but luckily we have a bathroom and then the next day I feel queasy but then I get over it. I pray every day that I`ll be able to eat all the food I`m served, and luckily I haven`t had any problem with that. I`ve lowered my standards quite a bit since I got here. I would eat anything because if I don`t, I`ll starve.

They speak a different Spanish here than in Mexico. For some reason, I could understand basically everything the people in Mexico were saying, but here, I don`t have a clue. Some days I feel like my Spanish is worse, but I`ll pick it up sooner or later. Whenever we teach or contact, my comp asks the person who they would like to say the prayer, and they usually pick me, I think because they want to see a white girl speak bad Spanish, or maybe they think I`ll say it in English. Ha I wish. It`s okay though, I just need to speak more Spanish and be okay with the fact that I will probably always sound like a tonta. Thank you for your prayers, I need them a loooot.

Money.....I`m fine. I have no idea how much I have on my card though, if you put 50$ a month on my card I think that would suffice. I get 90 bucks every two weeks from the church, and I try not to use that for personal stuff, like 3 packages of face wipes so that I can clean my face for once. (Whoever can guess how long it`s been since I washed my face wins a prize!!!)

Ward....there are 500 people in the ward, and 150 who come. It is so funny. People answer their phones during Sacrament meeting, funny stuff like that. The sacrament they used Sparkling water and I almost spit it out because it shocked me so much. Haha. That would have been worse than last week. Weird stuff always happens during the Sacrament, it`s weird. Redundant sentance. Side note, since I got on the mission I have been having the WEIRDEST dreams. All of them are sooooo weird. Maybe it`s the garlic pills, or the food.

Typical day: Okay, wake up at 6:15 or 6:30, pray on my bed (my letter will explain why), and then while my comps are showering I do my hair and get dressed, and then I usually make breakfast. I try to be serviceful to my companions. The apartment is freezing, people here haven`t invented heaters or air conditioning yet. Also I need to learn to enjoy companionship study more. I  love language study though, I`m reading the BoM in Spanish and marking in different colors all the different grammar principles, like subjunctive and passive voice and whatnot. It is really helpful, but the most helpful thing will just be learning to understand all these fast talking people and speaking the language more. Then we leave around 12 and go to lunch at a mamita`s house, more on that in my letter I think, and then we do random stuff...I can`t remember. A lot of stuff we do doesn`t seem to have a point, but mostly consists of talking to people. Sometimes when we have off time we contact, but in the evenings is when we teach the most, which is good because walking here at night is the scariest thing in the world. Walking at night in Provo was scary. Walking at night here is so scary. So so scary. Usually I think I`m going to die. Sometimes my companion wants to contact at night, and I usually think that is a bad idea. The sun sets way too early.

I think that`s all your questions, and that`s basically all I wanted to say. Sorry if this email is a tad more on the negative side. I`m learning to be more patient with myself and the area and stuff. People here are pretty noncommittal. They`ll listen to us, but they won`t do anything we say, like come to church or let us come and teach them. Living here has been the hardest thing I`ve ever done in my life. Every day I`ve wished I could have been called Stateside. But I know I would have had more challenges there. I`m still wondering how I`ll ever survive living here for 18`s so hard. But I`ll pull through. Reading your emails, seeing how many people are encouraging me at home, that has really helped encourage me. I had 28 emails this week!!! And no time to answer any of them!!! :(  Haha anyways, I`ll survive. Still in survival mode, but I will survive.

I love you all soooooo very very much!!!!! Have a great week, please keep praying for me!!! I pray for you all every day!!!

Much love,

Hermana Kaela Carter

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