March 19, 2014
Wow! My first letter of the mission! What a week it has been! It's been so long yet so short all at the same time! Lots to say!
First, let's start with the basics. My companion is Hna. Ridgway. She is 22 years old and is from Orem, UT. She is headed to the Canada Toronto Spanish Speaking mission. I have 6 hermanas in my district including me and my companion. Hna. Lange (Argentina Buenos Aires North mission, from Springfield, UT), her companion Hna. Weitl (Argentina Buenos Aires North mission, from Anacordas, WA) and Hna. Shotwell (Argentina Rosario mission, from St. George, UT) and Hna. Sanders (Argentina Rosario mission, from St. George, UT). We used to have two other districts in our zone, but they all left for Mexico on Monday so we're alone. Well actually we're getting a district of 5 sisters today and that'll be it for the next few weeks.
So all the days are basically the same so they blend together, but I will do my best to recount them.
We had a new missionaries meeting on the Wednesday night and we sang We'll Bring the World His Truth and when we got to the end we sang "and we are NOW the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth" and man was that powerful. I am NOW a missionary and that is my mission, to bring the world His truth! So spiritual.
On Thursday we learned how to pray and bear our testimonies in Spanish, so I'm basically a pro....not.
Friday was the hardest day yet! Man oh man. We had to teach our first lesson...in SPANISH!! I felt like a complete and utter failure afterwards. The feelings of inadequacy and home sickness and what not were unreal. I thought "There is no way I'm going to be able to preach this beautiful news to the people of Argentina because there is no way I can speak this language." Okay, good thinking there, Hannah. I was thinking all about MYself and MY abilities. Well I got a wake up call and realized this isn't MY mission. It's the LORD'S. And if He wants me to do this, He will HELP me do this. It's as simple as that. I literally felt so small, so humbled, and so inadequate, and yet I felt so LOVED. Because that's how the spirit is at the MTC. It's so loving and happy. So after hearing other missionaries' first lesson stories in Spanish I started to feel capable again. I dusted myself off, learned from my horrible teaching and Spanish mistakes and Hna. Ridgway and I were able to teach a great spiritual second lesson to our investigator, Benjamin, on Saturday. I know the Lord humbles us to we can learn and grow from our mistakes. I have been so humbled through this whole process and I know I will continue to be humbled.
Oh and in one of those days, I lead Hna. Ridgeway to the wrong apartment building and we basically ended up trying to break into the wrong apartment so we could get ready for gym. So since our keys weren't working we went to the information desk to ask for a spare key to get into room 298 (even though we're 292, we didn't realize it), but we were told we would have to come back Monday since everyone was gone for the weekend. We were there for a really long time figuring out what we could do. Well, with no luck we decided to just go the apartment that is our classroom and just study. It was then that it dawned on me, I had gone to the WRONG building. Yeah, it was all my doing, completely my fault. Basically I was trying to get the information desk to help me break into someone else's room, and they were totally going to help me, had the administrators not been gone for the weekend. I literally laughed so hard when I realized what I had done.
Sunday was the most spiritual Sunday I've had in awhile!! Oh it was so great to take a break from everything!! :) After we attended devotional, we watched a devotional Elder Bednar gave and it was incredible! One thought I'd like to share: It is NOT enough to have a testimony. We must be CONVERTED to the LORD. We will NEVER fall away if we are CONVERTED. Conversion is being consistently true to what we know. My primary job at the MTC is to become CONVERTED to the Lord and not just have a testimony. My second job is to learn Spanish. I think we should all evaluate our lives and decided whether we are converted to the Lord or if we just have a testimony. Let us all strive for the complete conversion. If we do, we will never fall away.
Oh, fun fact. I have been told multiple times I look like Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. So that's fun. One Hermana told me it was her favorite musical ever so it was a real compliment that I reminded her of Elle. So when she told me that I was very flattered.
Well mi familia y mis amigos, I think I have made you read enough. I know, I'm long winded. I hope you all have a fun week. Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es la palabra de Dios y es verdadero. Yo se que el Evangelio de Jesucristo es verdadero Yo se que Jesucristo es nosotros Salvador y Redendtor. Remember, love someone new the way Christ would, and watch your life change. And of course, Stay Anxiously engaged!! :)
Love you and miss you all so much!!
Hermana Van Wagoner