(that’s not to be pronounced as ‘holla.’ I’m speaking Spanish, not G. Haha)

This week has gone by SO CRAZY FAST. I feel like I was just here on the computer emailing home yesterday! Now I’m 4 weeks in and I only have a little under 2 WEEKS LEFT here in Provo! It’s super surreal. I’m nervous, because I feel SUPER unprepared to go and do all this for real, but I know that I could be here training for my whole 18 months and I’d never feel quite ready to go and do. But I know that I’ve got the Lord on my side and He’s not going to let me mess up His work. Haha.
Spanish is coming along great, but I’m still a far cry from fluent. (What? You’ve been speaking Spanish for a whole 4 weeks and don’t sound like a native speaker yet? SHAME ON YOU.) I can usually find SOME way of saying what I want to in a conversation or lesson. IN FACT I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting this week in Spanish! It was pretty cool. Our branch president has us each prepare a 5-minute talk in Spanish for the week’s topic and then at the beginning of the meeting they call on 2 missionaries to give their talks. This week the topic was “Endure to the End” or “Perseverar Hasta el Fin.” I read a (rather lengthy) scripture and talked with poorly conjugated verbs, but I DID IT! And a native-speaking visitor (related to a member of the branch presidency, I forget which) complimented me on it, so that’s something. :]
A funny thing happened this week. On Mondays we have our service activity, and my district was assigned to sweep the walkways and stairwells around the class-apartment buildings. We split up, Hermanas/Elderes, and swept like crazy people. We Hermanas made up a round about sweeping and sang it all around campus (to the tune of that “I love the mountains…” song that we sang at Girls’ Camp that one year.) Meanwhile, the Elders came up with the premise of a musical about a sweeper who has big dreams about driving a street sweeper. They told us about it later and we loved the idea… SO during “personal exercise” time in our apartment, we came up with the rest of the play. We wrote the plot, cast everyone in the district as a character, and I even wrote a SONG for it! We’re going to put it on Broadway once we’re off our missions.
Sweeper Joe- (Played by Elder A_____) A humble sweeper at Sweeper, Inc. who dreams of someday driving his very own street sweeper. Fell in love at first sight with Violet.
Benedict- (Played by Elder B_____) The British best friend who helps him get the girl. Also a sweeper at Sweeper, Inc. Is way creeped out by Daisy.
VP Marcus- (Played by Elder F_____) The power-crazy Vice President of Sweepers, Inc. who has it out for Sweeper Joe because he’s also in love with Violet.
Mr. Osborne, CEO.- (Played by Elder O______) The CEO of Sweeper, Inc, and father of Violet. He’s too distraught by his wife’s recent death to realize that his VP is out of control.
Violet- (played by Hna B_____) Got her job as the receptionist at Sweeper, Inc. because of her dad. A little ditzy, but super sweet. Fell in love with Sweeper Joe when their eyes met as they both picked up a dropped broom.
Daisy- (Played by Hna G_____) Loyal best friend of Violet and avid fangirl of Benedict. Got a job as a sweeper because she wanted to be closer to him.
Little Orphan Annie- (Played by Hna V_____) “Oh, that little red-hea-” “No, the other one.” Was found on the streets by the sweepers , who subsequently took her in and gave her a job as a sweeper.
Mariposa Serrato Coleman Gonzales de los Flores, or “Maria” -(Played by Hna Howell) The immigrant who only rarely speaks very broken English. Always knows what’s going on and tries to clear things up, but just can’t communicate with anyone and gets VERY frustrated.
The song I wrote was for Daisy to sing about Benedict, entitled “I’m not Creepy.” It was SO funny- I sang it for the Elderes in the cafeteria… Elder B_____ was so creeped out that he almost wouldn’t talk to me for the rest of the day. Haha. I keep hearing the other Hermanas from our zone singing parts of it… I feel famous.
ANYWAY, I’ve definitely had some GREAT spiritual experiences as well. I genuinely love my “investigadores” and I get SO excited to see them progressing! Ryleigh is going through some hard stuff right now, but she wants to join the Church… she just wants to be SURE that the timing is right. I think we’ll be able to set a date in our next visit! I’ve seen how much she’s changed and come to trust the Lord and how much happier she is for it. It’s absolutely wonderful! And our other investigator, Carlos, accepted the challenge to live the Word of Wisdom last time we saw him, and he’s been reading the Book of Mormon- he says he really likes it! I think he is very close to knowing for himself that la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias is truly God’s church on the earth today. He really liked what we said about having a Prophet on the earth today, and I think he believes it to be true. I’m so excited for both of them!
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. I LOVE that this Gospel is so founded in personal revelation. We receive answers FOR OURSELVES to know if this is the true Church and Gospel. I’m not selling anything. I’m not talking people into anything. I’m not really even doing the teaching- it’s ALL through the Holy Ghost! All I do is invite people. I tell them what I know to be true, and then invite them to come to know it for themselves. It’s SO WONDERFUL! I’m not even here to necessarily baptize people. My purpose is to invite others to come closer to Christ. All I do is share God’s love for His children and show them what He and His Son have done for them, and invite them to act on it. OHHHHHHHHH I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!!!!!!!!!
I love you all so very much!
Hermana Howell

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