Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Week 7: San Sebastian, Puerto Rico

Hola de San Sebastián!!

Before I begin, I hope all the mothers had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday!! Of course, shout out to my beautiful mama and also to my little sister Megan who turned 9 on Saturday!! Feliz Cumpleaños!! :)

I'm here!! In Puerto Rico!!! WOW. What a crazy week it has been already!! I don't even know where to start. Oh, how about with, Elder Zwick and his wife are our temporary Presidents?!? What!! They are AMAZING people, I can't even get over it!! All of us thought it was Zivic, but when President Zwick walked into the airport I thought to myself, that's not Elder Zivic. Hahaha but seriously!! They are absolutely incredible!! So that first day we just went to the Mission Home, got a little orientation and ate, and then we were off to meet our companions!! Oh and also, since the whole Mission President thing was such a quick change, President Zwick arranged for every missionary in Puerto Rico to come together for a meeting!! Which apparenly has never been done before, so on Thursday, every single missionary in Puerto Rico met together!! How cool is that? There are like 200 of us I believe? But I got to see Elder Gallagher and Hermana Cole!! So that was so fun!! He just talked about the direction of the mission and gave us some awesome counsel!

My amazing companion (mi mama) is Hermana Sosa from Hondurus!! It has only been less than a week here and I've already learned SO much from her! She speaks a little bit of english which is nice sometimes haha :) but she has been in the mission for 9 months and is SO bold and talks to absolutely everyone! Which is amazing right?? Of course! Haha but at first it was terrible for me cause she would make me talk to everyone too - yeah, I thought I knew a little bit of Spanish.. yeah this isn't Spanish people!! Haha it's Puerto Rican Spanish!!! Haha really though, before the mission when people would tell me how fast they would speak and how they wouldn't really say their "s", it's SO true!!!! It's such a beautiful language though and I'll get it eventually haha!

Well, my beautiful area is San Sebastián! We live in a house underneath a members house and basically there is a jungle in my backyard! NO joke!! But with the jungle, comes many creatures... Heavenly Father obviously knows my fear of bugs.. especially spiders!! But these are huge spiders! Every night before you get into bed you have to shake out your sheets and then shake them again! Same with your clothes too! But it's all part of the experience, right? Haha anyway, so the first day that we came to the house, it was SO messy! Apparently the Elders before didn't clean anything up, and they didn't clean up any of the bugs! So we spent the whole day mostly in the kitchen emptying our the drawers and coupboards and everything haha! Oh and we get a lot of cochroaches too.. which almost tie on my list with spiders! Anyway, our area is pretty big and we just split it in half with the other companionship. We've mostly stayed close to the house but when we need to, the members above us are absolute angels and will give us rides!! They are so sweet! So there are 28 "barrios" here, which are like smaller areas inside one larger area I guess, but there is only one "barrio" in the whole area, which is a ward! Haha confusing right? But I love the ward, it's only about 20-25 people but they are so fun! They all think I speak Spanish or something and will always try and talk to me! And then I have to have that awkward conversation of how I've only been here for 5 days :) Haha it's great! But yeah, the bishopric introduced us in church and I had to speak so now they all know :) And, no one knows how to play the piano so I've been asked if I can do that too!! And for the primary!! It's going to be fun haha! But I really do love it here, good people!

So this area hasn't had sisters in a very long time apparently cause everytime we talk to people they are like, oh yeah we've talked to the guys in shirts and ties before but we didn't know that there were sister missionaries too hahaha yup, that's us now! And since all of us are new in the area, we had to basically start from scratch and we've been contacting for these past few days! Man, I just love the people here. And they are so receptive to listen!! But we'll see what happens when we actually start teaching the lessons! We are going to be so busy though, we have 8 new investigators and 12 appointments just this week!! Here we go, right?? Haha and wish me luck on the Spanish!!

Oh funny story!! So a lot of people here are Catholic and they really like to make it known to us haha so we were contacting the other day and we started talking to this lady who was on her patio and when we told her who we were she basically yelled at the top of her lungs, SOY CATOLICA!! Which is I am Catholic! Haha she was nice. Oh and some of the people here think I'm Puerto Rican (I must be getting tan already :)) and others think that my parents must be Puerto Rican haha either is good right?

Ok, so I learned something really important this week. Spanish is a little difficult. Ok it's really difficult sometimes! Haha well, for me anyway. I would sit in lessons and just try SO hard to concentrate on what they are saying and find myself only understanding 10%. Sometimes, nothing but a few words! I would constantly pray during the lessons too, just to understand a little bit, but nothing would come! But I know the Lord was trying to teach me something. And it's still a lesson in progress! First of all, He loves us! He wants us to succeed! He wants us to be happy! But, He also wants us to rely on Him! And I've realized that in times of difficulties, it's so important to never forget that. And, we need to try and recognize the tender mercies He gives us in our lives. They are everywhere!! As I've gone through this past week, and as I've tried my best to rely on Him, He has helped me recognize the little accomplishments. The little victories! After I bore my little testimony in Sacrament on Sunday, there was a visiting family there and the dad of the family had told me that for only 5 days, my Spanish is super good! Haha like what? That was something I definitely needed to hear, and Heavenly Father knew that! And also, never underestimate your potential!! We are all sons and daughters of God, can it get any better than that? Anyway, I hope everyone has such a wonderful week!! Not sure what the weather is like in the States right now, but it rains all the time here!!

Hermana Holt 

Elder Gallagher
(his sister is married to my cousin)

President and Sister Zwick

The newest missionaries

Dear Brother and Sister Holt,
We are so delighted to send you this photo of your amazing missionary. It was wonderful to receive Sister Holt, and especially satisfying to extend a warm welcome to the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission.
Your missionary and your entire family will be blessed, as promised by the Lord in Section 31 of the Doctrine and Covenents:
“I will bless you and your family… and they will be one with you..”
Thank you for your trust. We assure you that we will take very good care of your precious daughter. The people of this wonderful mission will love Sister Holt, and we know that she will be deserving of that love and respect.
This weekend is Mother’s Day, therefore you can expect a phone call from your missionary. We encourage you to be available for that call .
May you be blessed with the joy that comes from applying the teachings of the Savior in your lives. There will be much growth that takes place here during Sister Holts mission. You will be able to experience it through the correspondence which you receive each week. We encourage you to also write each week in order to provide the moral courage and strength from home which is vitally important.
May you continue to be blessed in every meaningful way. We truly love Sister Holt with our whole hearts.


President and Sister Zwick

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